Software & Systems Modeling

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 843–872 | Cite as

Automated resolution of connector architectures using constraint solving (ARCAS method)

  • Jaroslav Keznikl
  • Tomáš Bureš
  • František PlášilEmail author
  • Petr Hnětynka
Regular Paper


In current software systems, connectors play an important role by encapsulating the communication and coordination logic. Since they share common patterns (elements) depending on characteristics of the connections, the elements can be predefined and reused. A method of connector implementation based on a composition of predefined elements naturally comprises two steps: resolution of the connector architecture, and creation of the actual connector code based on the architecture. However, manual resolution of a connector architecture is very difficult due to the number of factors to be considered. Thus, the challenge is to come up with an automated method, able to address all the important factors. In this paper, we present a method for automated resolution of connector architectures based on constraint solving techniques. We exploit a propositional logic with relational calculus for defining a connector theory, a constraint specification reflecting both the predefined parts and the important resolution factors, and employ a constraint solver to find a suitable connector architecture as a model of the theory. As a proof of the concept, we show how the theory can be captured in the Alloy language and resolved via the Alloy Analyzer.


Software architecture Software connectors Constraint solving Middleware-based connectors Connector theory Alloy 



This work was partially supported by the EU project ASCENS 257414 and by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic, project GACR P202/10/J042. We are also very grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions and to Hugo Gibson for proofreading the text.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaroslav Keznikl
    • 1
  • Tomáš Bureš
    • 1
  • František Plášil
    • 1
    Email author
  • Petr Hnětynka
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Mathematics and PhysicsCharles University in PraguePrague 1Czech Republic

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