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Title: Software agent architecture for consistency checking of distributed documents
Author: Smolko, Danila Stanislavovich
ISNI:       0000 0001 3469 3405
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2001
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The size and complexity of current software systems often necessitates distributed and cooperative development by numerous participants. This thesis investigates the problem of management of consistency relations between documents in the software engineering domain, which are cooperatively developed in such distributed setting. The thesis builds on related work in expression of consistency relations by means of consistency rules, and expands on the framework for centralised consistency link generation to transparently provide the developers with inconsistency identification services at distributed locations. This thesis elaborates a consistency framework, which enables consistency checks to be carried out at locations of the documents, rather than at a centralised server or repository. We focus on advantages that use of software agency brings to implementation of this framework. These advantages are realised in the developed software agent architecture, which capitalises on agent mobility for carrying out checks in the distributed environment. The thesis describes a method for carrying out consistency checks incrementally for the underlying consistency link generation framework. Incremental checks relate individual document updates to the current state of the checked document set. Incremental checking facilitates event-orientation of the framework for distributed consistency checks, where individual update events trigger consistency checks of related consistency rules, resulting in generation of consistency links, relevant to the original changes. Inconsistent links indicate problem areas to the developers, where further work may be needed in correction of remaining inconsistencies. This thesis makes a novel contribution to consistency checking in the software engineering domain by providing the software agent architecture, which enables distributed collaborative development. Initial evaluation of the software agent architecture for distributed consistency checking is carried out on a simulation model. The software agent architecture is implemented in a prototype, developed to demonstrate and evaluate the architecture. A case study is used throughout the thesis, which illustrates feasibility and applicability of the proposed approach. The case study involves checking consistency between UML diagrams of a scheduling application throughout concurrent distributed development of this application by a team of software engineers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Computer software & programming