Section: Research Program
Integrating Non-Functional Concerns into Software Design
Most existing design approaches do not address non-functional concerns. When they do, they do not provide an approach to non-functional concerns that covers the entire development life-cycle. Furthermore, they usually are general purpose, impeding the use of non-functional declarations for verification and code generation. For example, the Architecture Analysis & Design Language (AADL) is a standard dedicated to real-time embedded systems  . AADL provides language constructs for the specification of software systems (e.g., component, port) and their deployment on execution platforms (e.g., thread, process, memory). Using AADL, designers specify non-functional aspects by adding properties on language constructs (e.g., the period of a thread) or using language extensions such as the Error Model Annex. (The Error Model Annex is a standardized AADL extension for the description of errors  .) The software design concepts of AADL are still rather general purpose and give little guidance to the designer.
Beyond offering a conceptual framework, our language-based approach provides an ideal setting to address non-functional properties (e.g., performance, reliability, security, ...). Specifically, a design language can be enriched with non-functional declarations to pursue two goals: (1) expanding further the type of conformance that can be checked between the design of a software system and its implementation, and (2) enabling additional programming support and guidance.
We are investigating this idea by extending our design language with non-functional declarations. For example, we have addressed error handling  , access conflicts to resources  , and quality of service constraints  .
Following our approach to paradigm-oriented software development, non-functional declarations are verified at design time, they generate support that guides and constrains programming, they produce a runtime system that preserves invariants.