Institute for Software Research
School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University


A Language-based Approach to Specification and
Enforcement of Architectural Protocols

Kevin Bierhoff*, Matthew Kehrt, Sangjin Han**
Darpan Saini, Majid Al-Meshari**, Jonathan Aldrich

March 2010

This reports supercedes Institute for Software Research


Keywords: Protocol, typestate, software architecture, ArchJava

Software architecture research has proposed using protocols for specifying the interactions between components through ports. Enforcing these protocols in an implementation is difficult. This paper proposes an approach to statically reason about protocol conformance of an implementation. It leverages the architectural guarantees of the ArchJava programming language. The approach allows modular reasoning about implementations with callbacks, recursive calls, and multiple instances of component types. It uses a dataflow analysis to check method implementations and a summary-based interprocedural analysis to reason modularly about component composition. The approach is limited to static architectures but can handle multiple instances for component types and arbitrary nesting of components. We tested the implementation on a case study, and the results suggest that the approach can be scaled to large software applications.

40 pages

*Two Sigma Investments LLC, New York, NY
**Formerly at Carnegie Mellon University

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