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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Object-oriented views: a novel approach for tool integration in design environments (dissertation)


Object-oriented databases have been proposed to serve as the data management component of integrated design environments. One central database represents a bottleneck, however, requiring all design tools to work on the same information model and preventing the extensibility of the system over time. In this dissertation, I propose a view-based object server that successfully addresses these problems by supporting design views tailored to the needs of individual design tools.

A view on an object-oriented schema corresponds to a virtual subschema graph with restructured generalization and property decomposition hierarchies. I present a methodology for supporting multiple view schemata, called MutliView. MultiView is anchored on the following four ideas: (1) the customization of individual classes using object algebra, (2) the integration of these derived classes into one global schema graoh, (3) the extraction of virtual and base classes from the global schema as required by the view, and (4) the generation of a class hierarchy for these selected view classes. MutliView's division of view specification into these well-defined tasks, some of which have been successfully automated, makes it a powerful tool for supporting the specification of views by non-database experts while enforcing view consistency.

In this dissertation, I describe solutions for all four tasks underlying MultiView. For the first task, I have formulated class derivatin operators modeled after the well-known relational algebra operators. For the second task, I have developed a classification algorithm that automatically integrates derived classes into one global schema. For the third task, I have designed a view definition language that can be used to declaratively specify the view classes required for a particular view. For the last task, I have developed an algorithm that generates a complete, minimal and consistent view schema. I present proofs of correctness, complexity analysis, and numerous illustrative examples for all algorithms.

MultiView is applied to address the tool integration problem in a behavioral synthesis system. For this purpose, I first develop a unified design object model for behavioral synthesis. I then formulate customized design views of this model tailored to the needs of particular design tools. The resulting system allows the design tools to work on their view of the information model, while MultiView assures the consistent integration of the diverse design data into one object model.

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