A Method for Contract Design and Delegation in Object Behavior Modeling

Hirotaka SAKAI  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E76-D   No.6   pp.646-655
Publication Date: 1993/06/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Software Theory
data and object modeling,  behavior modeling,  integrity constraints,  software system,  object-oriented software design,  

Full Text: PDF>>
Buy this Article

Behavior modeling of objects is critical in object-oriented design. In particular, it is essential to preserve integrity constraints on object behavior in application environments where objects of various classes dynamically interact with each other. In order to provide a stable design technique, a behavior model using the notion of the life cycle schema of a class is proposed. To model the aspect of behavioral abstraction of objects, the notion of schema refinement together with a diagrammatic representation technique is also defined. In this framework, a formalization of behavior constraints on objects which interact with each other is proposed together with its graphical representation. Verification rules of consistency of behavior constraints are also discussed. In order to perform certain functions, several partner objects of the same or different classes should collaborate establishing client-server relationships. The contract of a class is defined as a collection of responsibilities of a server class to a client class where each responsibility is specified in the form of the script. To achieve a high degree of systems integrity, a procedure to derive scripts from behavior constraints on collaborating partners is developed. It is also critical to evenly distribute responsibilities to partner objects. A delegation is placing a whole or a part of responsibilities of an object in charge of other objects. Based on the design principle delegation along the aggregation hierarchy,' a unified design approach to delegation that enables to reorganize scripts in constraints preserving way is proposed.