A Unifying Framework for Structured Analysis and Design Models: an Approach using Initial Algebra Semantics and Category Theory, Cambridge Tracts in Theoretical Computer Science, Vol. 11
Published by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Structured methodologies are a popular and powerful tool in information systems development. A complex system can be specified in a top-down and graphical fashion, enabling practitioners to visualize the target systems and communicate with users much more easily than by means of conventional methods. In fact, the structured methodologies have been designed by quite a number of distinct authors, each employing a number of models which are different in graphical outlook. A specification must be converted from one form to another during the development process. Unfortunately, however, little attempt has been made in proposing a formal framework behind them or establishing a theoretical link between one model and another. To solve the problem, Prof. Tse proposes a unifying framework using initial algebra semantics and category theory. The most popular structured models, such as data flow diagrams, structure charts and structure texts, are formalized in detail, and so are the translations among them. Some of their basic properties are studied, including structuredness and refinement. Thus this book will provide insight for software engineers into systems development methodologies, help to formulate guidelines for implementers of advanced CASE tools, and open up a range of applications and problems for theoretical computer scientists.