Pattern-Based Development of Communication Subsystems

R. Gotzhein, P. Schaible

in: Annals of Telecommunications, Special Issue on Protocol Engineering, Vol. 54, No. 11-12, 1999, pp. 508-525


Reuse of solutions and experience for recurring development problems is of the utmost importance for a pragmatic software engineering discipline. The earlier reuse is achieved in the development process, the larger its positive impact on the project. Design Patterns are a well-known reuse approach, and - in contrast to the usual reuse of code fragments - focus on the reuse of design decisions. In this contribution, a specialization of the Design Pattern idea for the development of communication systems, called SDL Patterns, is presented. SDL Patterns have been used to engineer and re-engineer a variety of protocols, e.g., ST2+ and several customized, CAN-based protocols. Formal description techniques (FDTs) are the basis for the definition and application of SDL Patterns, which combines the advantages of design patterns and FDTs. To illustrate the complete development process in general and some of its pattern-based steps in particular, we systematically, step by step, develop a solution for real-time requirements from the application area building-automation. We show how the requirements and additional domain knowledge of the application area lead to a high-level system design, communication requirements, a customized communication protocol, and - finally - to the automatic generation of an implementation in a real-time environment. Particular emphasis is placed on the traceability of design decisions across development phases, a prerequisiste for validation and maintainability.


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