Formal Specification of Design Patterns: A Case Study

J.O. Hallstrom and N. Soundarajan (USA)

Keywords

Design patterns, software specifications, formal methods.

Abstract

Design patterns are valuable both for designing and for documenting software systems. Patterns are usually de scribed informally. While informal descriptions are cer tainly useful, in order to be sure that designers have a pre cise understanding of the requirements that must be met when applying a given pattern, and to be able to reliably predict the behaviors that systems built using specific pat terns will exhibit, we also need precise specifications of the patterns. In this paper, we apply an approach to formally specifying patterns [1] to the Memento pattern as a case study. One important aspect of patterns is their flexibility. Our case study shows that this flexibility is not compro mised by our formalization. Indeed, the case study shows that for some patterns, the formalization reveals increased opportunities for variation.

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