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The Liberty Research Group

The Structural Modeling Project

A Comparison of Reuse in Object-oriented Programming and Structural Modeling Systems [abstract] (PDF)
Manish Vachharajani, Neil Vachharajani, and David I. August
Liberty Research Group Technical Report 03-01, October 2003.

Modeling systems in which users construct models by specifying the interconnect between concurrently executing components are a natural fit for hardware modeling. These concurrent-structural modeling systems allow the specification of the model to parallel that of the hardware making specifications clear, easy to understand, and straight-forward to build and modify.

Unfortunately, many concurrent-structural modeling systems provide few mechanisms to create flexible-reusable components. Others have built these modeling systems on object-oriented programming (OOP) languages in the hope that the OOP features will allow the creation of useful flexible reusable components for structural modeling. Unfortunately, simply adopting OOP features is insufficient for this task. By drawing an analogy between OOP programs and concurrent-structural models, it is possible to understand why. Furthermore, this analogy highlights what would be needed in a concurrent-structural system to gain the same benefits seen in OOP systems. This report compares the features necessary to obtain reuse in concurrent-structural modeling systems by drawing this analogy between object-oriented programming constructs and concurrent-structural modeling constructs.