A methodology, specification language, and automated support environment for computer-aided design systems
Computer-based systems are becoming increasingly complex and expensive, and there is a need for extensive design prior to embarking upon costly implementation phases. Many design tools and design techniques have been proposed and some have been built to stand alone. They are, at best, loosely integrated with other tools. They have much in common, notably the construction and manipulation of models of the complex system under design and a high degree of interactivity. A detailed study of areas of commonality guides the requirements definition of a computer-aided design of computer systems (CADOCS) support nucleus. The nucleus provides an integrated set of primitives. A specification language targeted to the support nucleus allows description of the design model and human-model interaction. This paper hypothesizes that it is possible to define a methodology, a specification language, and an automated support environment suitable to the systematic development and execution of CADOCS systems. The methodology is applied to UCLA's Systems Architect's Apprentice (SARA) system--the test bed--and the resulting SARA/IDEAS system serves as an existence proof for the hypothesis.