Formal description and interpretation of coordination protocols for teamwork
With the development of suitable abstractions for distributed computing and the advent of new QoS based multimedia communication services, engineering of teamwork applications is now able to concentrate mainly on the development of coordination issues rather than on communication issues. Coordination regulates the use of communication services by means of a coordination protocol. Coordination protocols today are informally described and their implementation is buried within teamwork applications; neither reuse nor verification by prospected end users is supported. Both aims can be supported when the design of coordination protocols for groupware is based on abstract formal description techniques known from the specification of communication protocols. This approach is demonstrated with a sample SDL specification of a coordination protocol for an application sharing type of teamwork. A design method for coordination protocols is derived from this example. Core design elements of the method are roles that are mapped to states of a state-based specification. This abstract, user-centred description can be transformed to a distributed Java implementation via an intermediate SDL specification.
Keywordscoordination in teamwork formal protocol specification SDL design method for coordination Java
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