Date of Award

5-3-2007

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Computer Science

First Advisor

Ying Zhu - Chair

Second Advisor

Xiaolin Hu

Third Advisor

Geoffrey Hubona

Fourth Advisor

Roy Johnson

Fifth Advisor

Rajshekhar Sunderraman

Abstract

As software systems become larger and more complex, developers require the ability to model abstract concepts while ensuring consistency across the entire project. The internet has changed the nature of software by increasing the desire for software deployment across multiple distributed platforms. Finally, increased dependence on technology requires assurance that designed software will perform its intended function. This thesis introduces the Formal Object Interaction Language (FOIL). FOIL is a new object-oriented modeling language specifically designed to address the cumulative shortcomings of existing modeling techniques. FOIL graphically displays software structure, sequential and concurrent behavior, process, and interaction in a simple unified notation, and has an algebraic representation based on a derivative of the π-calculus. The thesis documents the technique in which FOIL software models can be mathematically verified to anticipate deadlocks, ensure consistency, and determine object state reachability. Scalability is offered through the concept of behavioral inheritance; and, FOIL’s inherent support for modeling concurrent behavior and all known workflow patterns is demonstrated. The concepts of process achievability, process complete achievability, and process determinism are introduced with an algorithm for simulating the execution of a FOIL object model using a FOIL process model. Finally, a technique for using a FOIL process model as a constraint on FOIL object system execution is offered as a method to ensure that object-oriented systems modeled in FOIL will complete their processes based activities. FOIL’s capabilities are compared and contrasted with an extensive array of current software modeling techniques. FOIL is ideally suited for data-aware, behavior based systems such as interactive or process management software.

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