Construction of a support tool for the design of the activity structures based computer system architectures
This thesis is a reapproachment of diverse design concepts, brought to bear upon the computer system engineering problem of identification and control of highly constrained multiprocessing (HCM) computer machines. It contributes to the area of meta/general systems methodology, and brings a new insight into the design formalisms, and results afforded by bringing together various design concepts that can be used for the construction of highly constrained computer system architectures. A unique point of view is taken by assuming the process of identification and control of HCM computer systems to be the process generated by the Activity Structures Methodology (ASM). The research in ASM has emerged from the Neuroscience research, aiming at providing the techniques for combining the diverse knowledge sources that capture the 'deep knowledge' of this application field in an effective formal and computer representable form. To apply the ASM design guidelines in the realm of the distributed computer system design, we provide new design definitions for the identification and control of such machines in terms of realisations. These realisation definitions characterise the various classes of the identification and control problem. The classes covered consist of: 1. the identification of the designer activities, 2. the identification and control of the machine's distributed structures of behaviour, 3. the identification and control of the conversational environment activities (i.e. the randomised/ adaptive activities and interactions of both the user and the machine environments), 4. the identification and control of the substrata needed for the realisation of the machine, and 5. the identification of the admissible design data, both user-oriented and machineoriented, that can force the conversational environment to act in a self-regulating manner. All extent results are considered in this context, allowing the development of both necessary conditions for machine identification in terms of their distributed behaviours as well as the substrata structures of the unknown machine and sufficient conditions in terms of experiments on the unknown machine to achieve the self-regulation behaviour. We provide a detailed description of the design and implementation of the support software tool which can be used for aiding the process of constructing effective, HCM computer systems, based on various classes of identification and control. The design data of a highly constrained system, the NUKE, are used to verify the tool logic as well as the various identification and control procedures. Possible extensions as well as future work implied by the results are considered.