An Abstract Heterogeneous Characterisation of Component Based Systems in a Categorical Setting

Research Area: McSCert Reports Year: 2014
Type of Publication: Technical Report Keywords: Heterogeneous languages, Institution representations, Component-based design, Software architecture
  • Carlos G. Lopez Pombo
  • Pablo F. Castro
  • Nazareno M. Aguirre
  • Thomas S. E. Maibaum
In this paper, we study a categorical approach for characterizing heterogeneous component based formal specifications in an abstract way. The aim of certifying essential properties, such as safety, for these systems requires a well founded understanding of such multi modelling. In order to work in an abstract, logic independent setting, the approach is based on the notion of institution, and makes extensive use of institution representations in order to relate the specifications of components, communication mechanisms and configurations, each of which might be expressed in different formalisms. This heterogeneity is useful in practice, allowing one to employ the most adequate formalism for each part of a specification, and merging parts of a system specification characterized in different specification languages. The abstraction in our approach has the obvious motivation of making the formalisation logic independent, so that our results can then be particularised for specific logics or specification languages. As an illustrative example, we specify a simple Producer-Consumer system via the use of a combination of formalisms: propositional temporal logic for component specification, equational logic for the specification of the data structure used in communications, and first order temporal logic for specifying configurations.