François Taïani

CosmOpen: A Reverse-Engineering Tool for Complex Open-Source Architectures

DSN-03 supplemental volume, Student Forum of DSN'03, The International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks, San Francisco, CA, June, pp. A49-A51, 2003 (3p.)

Abstract
Third party software components (i.e. Commercials Off the Shelf (COTS) and Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS)) are now increasingly used in infrastructure systems and applications with high dependability requirements [1, 2]. Dependability in general, and the implementation of fault-tolerance in particular, requires a comprehensive analysis of the considered systems. For systems that are built out multiple components this means a thorough understanding of components internal behavior, and inter-component interactions, in particular for mastering state entangling, causality tracking, non-determinism, and state capture/ restoration. In previous publications we have proposed a conceptual framework [3] and a design approach [4] to address this issue and help implement fault-tolerant mechanisms independently from the system nominal services (separation of concerns) in a principled and disciplined manner. We have called our approach Multi-Layer Reflection as it leverages the experience gathered on reflective fault-tolerant systems, and adapts it to the particular context of complex component-based software architectures. As a support to this work, we have developed a prototype suite of reverse engineering tools named CosmOpen (Comprehensive Open Source MOdeling and Patternizing ENvironement) that explicitly focuses on the needs that we identified as necessary for Multi-Layer Reflection. We used this suite to validate our approach and understand the complex relationships of some component-based multi-layer systems. In this paper we sketch some of the dynamic analysis capabilities of CosmOpen and explain their relevance for the development of generic fault-tolerant mechanisms in complex software systems.

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