Connector Algebras, Petri Nets, and BIP
In the area of component-based software architectures, the term connector has been coined to denote an entity (e.g. the communication network, middleware or infrastructure) that regulates the interaction of independent components. Hence, a rigorous mathematical foundation for connectors is crucial for the study of coordinated systems. In recent years, many different mathematical frameworks have been proposed to specify, design, analyse, compare, prototype and implement connectors rigorously. In this paper, we overview the main features of three notable frameworks and discuss their similarities, differences, mutual embedding and possible enhancements. First, we show that Sobocinski’s nets with boundaries are as expressive as Sifakis et al.’s BI(P), the BIP component framework without priorities. Second, we provide a basic algebra of connectors for BI(P) by exploiting Montanari et al.’s tile model and a recent correspondence result with nets with boundaries. Finally, we exploit the tile model as a unifying framework to compare BI(P) with other models of connectors and to propose suitable enhancements of BI(P).
KeywordsTransition System Monoidal Category Sequential Composition Parallel Composition Label Transition System
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