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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reuse of off-the-shelf constraint solvers in C2-style architectures


Reuse of large-grain software components offers the potential for significant savings in application development cost and time. Successful reuse of components and component substitutability depends both on qualities of the components reused as well as the software context in which the reuse is attempted. Disciplined approaches to the structure and design of software applications offers the potential of providing a hospitable setting for such reuse. We present the results of a series of experiments designed to determine how well "off-the-shelf" constraint solvers could be reused in applications designed in accordance with the C2 software architectural style. The experiments involved the reuse of SkyBlue and Amulet's one-way formula constraint solver. We constructed numerous variations of a single application (thus an application family). The paper summarizes the style and presents the results from the experiments. The experiments were successful in a variety of dimensions; one conclusion is that the C2 style offers significant potential to application developers and that wider trials are warranted.

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