Designing precise and flexible graphical modelling languages for software development

Cook, Stephen (2017) Designing precise and flexible graphical modelling languages for software development. [Doctorate by Public Works]

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Abstract

Model-driven approaches to software development involve building computerized models of software and the environment in which it is intended to operate.

This thesis offers a selection of the author’s work over the last three decades that addresses the design of precise and flexible graphical modelling languages for use in model-driven software development. The primary contributions of this work are:

• Syntropy: the first published object-oriented analysis and design (OOAD) method to fully integrate formal and graphical modelling techniques.
• The creation of the Object Constraint Language (OCL) and its integration into the Unified Modeling Language (UML) specification.
• The identification of requirements and mechanisms for increasing the flexibility of the UML specification.
• The design and implementation of tools for implementing graphical Domain Specific Languages (DSLs).

The starting point was the author’s experience with formal specification techniques contrasted with the lack of precision of published object-oriented analysis and design methods. This led to a desire to fully integrate these two topics – formal specification and object-orientation - into a coherent discipline. The Syntropy approach, created in 1994 by this author and John Daniels, was the first published complete attempt to do this.

Much of the author’s subsequent published work concerns the Unified Modeling Language (UML). UML represented a welcome unification of earlier OOAD approaches, but suffered badly from inflexibility and lack of precision. A significant part of the work included in this thesis addresses the drawbacks of the UML and proposes improvements to the precision of its definition, including through the invention of Object Constraint Language (OCL) and its incorporation into the UML specification, and the consideration of UML as source material for the definition of Domain Specific Languages (DSLs). Several of the author’s published works in this thesis concern mechanisms for the creation of DSLs, both within a UML framework and separately.

Item Type: Doctorate by Public Works
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
B. > Doctorates by Public Works
Item ID: 21555
Depositing User: Jennifer Basford
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2017 13:33
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 15:59
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/21555

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