Computer Science Department
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


DiscoTect: A System for Discovering the Architectures
of Running Programs using COlored Petri Nets

Bradley Schmerl, Jonathan Aldrich, David Garlan,
Rick Kazman, Hong Yan

March 2006


Keywords: Software Architecture, Dynamic Analysis, Colored-Petri Nets

One of the challenging problems for software developers is guaranteeing that a system as built is consistent with its architectural design. In this paper we describe a technique that uses run time observations about an executing system to construct an architectural view of the system. In this technique we develop mappings that exploit regularities in system implementation and architectural style. These mappings describe how low-level system events can be interpreted as more abstract architectural operations, and are formally defined using Colored Petri Nets. In this paper we describe a system, called DiscoTect, that uses these mappings, and we introduce the DiscoSTEP mapping language and its formal definition. Two case studies showing the application of DiscoTect suggest that the tool is practical to apply to legacy systems and can dynamically verify conformance to a pre-existing architectural specification.

34 pages

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