Formal Patterns for Web-based Systems Design.
University of Southampton, School of Electronics and Computer Science,
The ubiquitous and simple interface of Web browsers has opened the door for the devel- opment of a new class of distributed applications which they have been known as Web applications. As more and more systems become Web-enabled we become increasingly dependent on the Web applications. Therefore, reliability of such systems is a very crucial factor for successful operation of many modern organisations and institutes. In the ¯rst part of this thesis we review how Web systems have evolved from simple static pages, in their early days, to their current situation as distributed applications with sophisticated functionalities. We also ¯nd out how the design methods have evolved to align with the rapid changes both in the new emerging technologies and growing functionalities. Although design approaches for Web applications have improved during the last decade we conclude that dependability should be given more consideration. In Chapter 2 we explain how this could be achieved through the application of formal methods. Therefore, we have provided an overview of dependability and formal methods in this chapter. In the second part of this research we follow a practical approach to the formal modelling of Web Applications. Accordingly, in Chapter 3 we have developed a series of formal models for an integrated holiday booking system. Our main objectives are to gain some common knowledge of the domain and to identify some key areas and features with regard to our formal modelling approach. Formal modelling of large Web applications could be a very complex process. In Chapter 4 we have introduced the idea of formal patterns for speci¯cation and re¯nement to accelerate the modelling process and to help alleviate the burden of formal modelling. In a further attempt to tackle the complexity of the formal modelling of Web applica- tions, we have introduced the idea of speci¯cation partitioning in Chapter 5. Speci¯- cation partitioning is closely related to the notion of composition. In this chapter we have extended some CSP-like composition techniques to build the system speci¯cation from subsystems or parts. The summary of our research, related ¯ndings and some suggestions for the future work are presented in Chapter 6.
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