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software engineering


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Software Engineering Principles:

Ch. 3 1 Software Engineering Principles


Ch. 3 2 Outline Principles form the basis of methods, techniques, methodologies and tools S even important principles that may be used in all phases of software development Modularity is the cornerstone principle supporting software design Case studies

Application of principles:

Ch. 3 3 Application of principles Principles apply to process and product Principles become practice through methods and techniques often methods and techniques are packaged in a methodology methodologies can be enforced by tools

A visual representation:

Ch. 3 4 A visual representation

Key principles:

Ch. 3 5 Key principles Rigor and formality Separation of concerns Modularity Abstraction Anticipation of change Generality Incrementality

Rigor and formality:

Ch. 3 6 Rigor and formality Software engineering is a creative design activity, BUT It must be practiced systematically Rigor is a necessary complement to creativity that increases our confidence in our developments Formality is rigor at the highest degree software process driven and evaluated by mathematical laws

Examples: product:

Ch. 3 7 Examples: product Mathematical (formal) analysis of program correctness Systematic (rigorous) test data derivation

Example: process:

Ch. 3 8 Example: process Rigorous documentation of development steps helps project management and assessment of timeliness

Separation of concerns:

Ch. 3 9 Separation of concerns To dominate complexity, separate the issues to concentrate on one at a time "Divide & conquer" ( divide et impera ) Supports parallelization of efforts and separation of responsibilities

Example: process:

Ch. 3 10 Example: process Go through phases one after the other (as in waterfall) Does separation of concerns by separating activities with respect to time

Example: product:

Ch. 3 11 Example: product Keep product requirements separate functionality performance user interface and usability


Ch. 3 12 Modularity A complex system may be divided into simpler pieces called modules A system that is composed of modules is called modular Supports application of separation of concerns when dealing with a module we can ignore details of other modules

Cohesion and coupling:

Ch. 3 13 Cohesion and coupling Each module should be highly cohesive module understandable as a meaningful unit Components of a module are closely related to one another Modules should exhibit low coupling modules have low interactions with others understandable separately

A visual representation:

Ch. 3 14 A visual representation high coupling low coupling


Ch. 3 15 Abstraction Identify the important aspects of a phenomenon and ignore its details Special case of separation of concerns The type of abstraction to apply depends on purpose Example : the user interface of a watch (its buttons) abstracts from the watch's internals for the purpose of setting time; other abstractions needed to support repair

Abstraction ignores details:

Ch. 3 16 Abstraction ignores details Example: equations describing complex circuit (e.g., amplifier) allows designer to reason about signal amplification Equations may approximate description, ignoring details that yield negligible effects (e.g., connectors assumed to be ideal)

Abstraction yields models:

Ch. 3 17 Abstraction yields models For example, when requirements are analyzed we produce a model of the proposed application The model can be a formal or semiformal description It is then possible to reason about the system by reasoning about the model

An example:

Ch. 3 18 An example Programming language semantics described through an abstract machine that ignores details of the real machines used for implementation abstraction ignores details such as precision of number representation or addressing mechanisms

Abstraction in process:

Ch. 3 19 Abstraction in process When we do cost estimation we only take some key factors into account We apply similarity with previous systems, ignoring detail differences

Anticipation of change:

Ch. 3 20 Anticipation of change Ability to support software evolution requires anticipating potential future changes It is the basis for software evolvability Example: set up a configuration management environment for the project (as we will discuss)


Ch. 3 21 Generality While solving a problem, try to discover if it is an instance of a more general problem whose solution can be reused in other cases Carefully balance generality against performance and cost Sometimes a general problem is easier to solve than a special case


Ch. 3 22 Incrementality Process proceeds in a stepwise fashion ( increments ) Examples (process) deliver subsets of a system early to get early feedback from expected users, then add new features incrementally deal first with functionality, then turn to performance deliver a first prototype and then incrementally add effort to turn prototype into product

Case study: compiler:

Ch. 3 23 Case study: compiler Compiler construction is an area where systematic (formal) design methods have been developed e.g., BNF for formal description of language syntax

Separation of concerns example:

Ch. 3 24 Separation of concerns example When designing optimal register allocation algorithms ( runtime efficiency ) no need to worry about runtime diagnostic messages ( user friendliness )


Ch. 3 25 Modularity Compilation process decomposed into phases Lexical analysis Syntax analysis (parsing) Code generation Phases can be associated with modules

Representation of modular structure:

Ch. 3 26 Representation of modular structure boxes represent modules directed lines represent interfaces

Module decomposition may be iterated:

Ch. 3 27 Module decomposition may be iterated further modularization of code-generation module


Ch. 3 28 Abstraction Applied in many cases abstract syntax to neglect syntactic details such as begin…end vs. {…} to bracket statement sequences intermediate machine code (e.g., Java Bytecode) for code portability

Anticipation of change:

Ch. 3 29 Anticipation of change Consider possible changes of source language (due to standardization committees) target processor I/O devices


Ch. 3 30 Generality Parameterize with respect to target machine (by defining intermediate code) Develop compiler generating tools ( compiler compilers ) instead of just one compiler


Ch. 3 31 Incrementality Incremental development deliver first a kernel version for a subset of the source language, then increasingly larger subsets deliver compiler with little or no diagnostics/optimizations, then add diagnostics/optimizations

Case study (system engineering): elevator system:

Ch. 3 32 Case study (system engineering): elevator system In many cases, the "software engineering" phase starts after understanding and analyzing the "systems engineering” issues The elevator case study illustrates the point

Rigor&formality (1):

Ch. 3 33 Rigor&formality (1) Quite relevant: it is a safety critical system Define requirements must be able to carry up to 400 Kg. (safety alarm and no operation if overloaded) emergency brakes must be able to stop elevator within 1 m. and 2 sec. in case of cable failures Later, verify their fulfillment

Separation of concerns:

Ch. 3 34 Separation of concerns Try to separate safety performance usability (e.g, button illumination) cost although some are strongly related cost reduction by using cheap material can make solution unsafe

A modular structure:

Ch. 3 35 A modular structure Elevator Control apparatus B3 B2 B1 buttons at floor i

Module decomposition may be iterated:

Ch. 3 36 Module decomposition may be iterated


Ch. 3 37 Abstraction The modular view we provided does not specify the behavior of the mechanical and electrical components they are abstracted away

Anticipation of change, generality:

Ch. 3 38 Anticipation of change, generality Make the project parametric wrt the number of elevators (and floor buttons)

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