Language Support for Identifying Flexible Points in Coercible Simulations
VIRGINIA UNIV CHARLOTTESVILLE DEPT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
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ABSTRACT Simulation developers are forced to make assumptions about how their simulations will be used and possibly revised to support reuse. Even when developers are aware of potential future adaptations for reuse, current programming languages do not support expression of design alternatives reflecting those adaptations. One can use program documentation to describe them, but documentation does not support automatic simulation transformation. Previously we have described COERCE, a semi-automated simulation transformation technology that supports the capture of design alternatives and the subsequent search and exploitation of these alternatives in order to accomplish desired changes in simulation behavior. In this paper, we propose capturing these design alternatives in programming language extensions called flexible points. With metadata about flexible points embedded in simulation code, COERCE-based software tools can preprocess the code, present information about flexible points to the user, and support semi-automatic evaluation of the fitness of different design alternatives for the new requirements. The programming language extensions we describe in this paper would advance our goal of automating simulation coercion to the extent possible. Semi-automated coercion of simulations, in turn, would greatly enhance user experience with simulation reuse.
- Computer Programming and Software