International Workshop on

Large-Scale Software Composition

held in conjunction with DEXA'98 (Vienna, Austria, Aug. 24-28)

Organizers: Rudolf K. Keller, Bruno Laguë, and Reinhard Schauer
Location: Vienna, Austria
Date: Friday, August 28th, 9am to 5:30pm

o Workshop Report (PDF format).
International Workshop on Large-Scale Software Composition, by Rudolf K. Keller, Bruno Laguë, and Reinhard Schauer, ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes, 24(1), January 1999.. To appear.

o Background.
o Workshop Goals and Format.
o Workshop Themes.
o Workshop Program.

o Submission Information.
o Program Committee.

o Workshop Organizers.
o Workshop Sponsors.
o Related Information and Events.

o DEXA'98 (9th Intl. Conf. on Database and Expert Systems Applications).


Large organizations throughout industry face immense problems when they have to adapt their acquired software systems with millions of lines of code to rapidly changing requirements. Far too often, such systems have evolved from an uncoordinated build-and-fix attitude towards software development and suffer from a lack of methodical support during maintenance. The original design intents of the software systems are obfuscated, or worse, have disappeared altogether. It takes immense effort to implement and test changes as the effects on other software modules and the impact on future reuse are hard to predict.

Component-based software development (CBSD) proclaims to address these difficulties of software evolution. CBSD stands for software construction by assembly of prefabricated, configurable, and independently evolving building blocks. The idea is to assemble software by letting off-the-shelf components communicate with each other. CBSD has gained momentum with the proliferation of programming environments based on Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) or Sun's JavaBeans. Yet, reality shows that CBSD has proven mainly effective for systems implementation in well-understood application domains, such as graphic user interfaces, but is still insufficient for the creation of reusable and changeable architectures of large-scale software, such as telephone switches.

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Workshop Goals and Format

We seek participants to cover practical and theoretical issues of software composition, addressing three key questions.

The workshop will be organized into four theme sessions, including an initial keynote address. In each session, two or three papers will be presented, followed by a short plenary discussion.

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Workshop Themes

Theme topics include the following, as they help resolve above key questions.
  1. Setting the stage.
  2. Designing large-scale, component-based software.
  3. Managing components in repositories.
  4. Introducing and managing component-based software development.
  5. Assessing large-scale, component-based software.
  6. Looking ahead.
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Workshop Program

Session I: Setting the Stage

 9:00 -  9:20	Introduction

 9:20 - 10:05	Invited Talk (Abstract):

                Piccola -- A Small Composition Language,
                Oscar Nierstrasz, U. of Berne, Switzerland

10:05 - 10:30	A View on Components, N.H. Lassing, D.B.B. Rijsenbrij,
                J.C. van Vliet (Vrije U., Amsterdam, Netherlands)

10.30 - 11.00   Coffee break

Session II: Component Modeling

11:00 - 11:20	Self-Configuring Components for Client/Server Applications,
                W. Pree, E. Althammer (U. of Constance, Germany),
                H. Sikora (GRZ/RACON, Austria)

11:20 - 11:40	Business-oriented component-based software development and
                evolution, S. Jarzabek (National U. of Singapore), M. Hitz
                (U. of Vienna, Austria)

11:40 - 12:05	Modelling Software Components, S. Kent, J. Howse,
                A. Lauder (U. of Brighton, UK)

12:05 - 12:30	Discussion

12.30 - 14.00   Lunch

Session III: Migration towards Components

14.00 - 14:40	CSER Research Demo

14:40 - 15:05	On Legacy System Reusability based on CPN and CCS Formalism,
                Y. Shinkawa (IBM Japan), M.J. Matsumoto (Tsukuba U., Japan)

15:05 - 15:30	Software Botryology, Automatic Clustering of Software Systems,
                V. Tzerpos (U. of Toronto, Canada), R.C. Holt
                (U. of Waterloo, Canada)

15.30 - 16.00   Coffee break

Session IV: Component-based Modelling of Distributed Systems

16.00 - 16:25	A Negotiation Model for Dynamic Composition of Distributed
                Applications, I. Ben-Shaul, Y. Gidron, O. Holder
                (Technion, Israel)

16:25 - 16:50	A Language and System for Composing Autonomous, Heterogenous
                and Distributed Megamodules, D. Beringer, C. Tornabene,
                P. Jain, G. Wiederhold (Stanford U., USA)

16:50 - 17:30	Discussion

Abstract of Invited Talk

Piccola -- A Small Composition Language, Oscar Nierstrasz, U. of Berne, Switzerland Piccola is a "small composition language" currently being developed within the Software Composition Group. The goal of Piccola is to support the flexible composition of applications from software components. Piccola can be seen as a "scripting language" in the sense that compositions should compactly describe how components are plugged together. Because Piccola should also document the architectural styles that components conform to, it should also function as an architectural description language. Since components may come from diverse platforms and adhere to very different architectural styles, a third important aspect is that Piccola can be seen as a "glue language" for adapting components so they can easily work together. Finally, since components and applications are inherently concurrent and distributed, Piccola can also be viewed as a coordination language. To address these various issues, we propose to develop Piccola based on a formal model of composable "glue agents" that communicate by means of a shared composition medium. Abstractions over messages and agents are first class values, and can be used to adapt compositions at run-time.
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Submission Information

o Submission deadline: March 31, 1998
o Notification of acceptance: April 30, 1998 
o Camera ready copies:  June 5, 1998

Authors are invited to submit research contributions representing original, unpublished work. Submissions may be theoretical or practical in nature (research papers, empirical studies, experience reports, etc.) and can be either full papers (max. 10 pages in the proceedings format) or short papers (max. 5 pages in the proceedings format). All papers will be refereed by at least 2 members of the workshop program committee. Evaluation will be based on originality, significance, technical soundness, and clarity of exposition. All accepted papers will be published by the IEEE Computer Society Press in as proceedings of the DEXA'98 workshops. Papers must be written in English. All submitted papers must be formatted according to the author guidelines provided by the IEEE Computer Society Press. These guidelines are available at

Please submit your paper electronically by e-mail. If you cannot send an electronic copy of your paper, ONLY THEN submit hardcopies of your paper. In either case (electronic or hard copy submission) please also send an e-mail in ASCII format (no markup languages, no binhex, no binary files) including the paper title, abstract, keywords, author names, addresses, and affiliations.

Electronic Submission

Please submit your paper electronically by e-mail to Ruedi Keller  ( Please prepare your paper as plain ASCII PostScript only, with NO encoding, condensing, or encapsulation. Guidelines for generating and submitting PostScript files are available at

Hard Copy Submission

Please send four hard copies to the address below.

Rudolf K. Keller
Université de Montréal
Dépt. IRO (informatique et recherche opérationnelle)
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montreal (Quebec) H3C 3J7, CANADA

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Program Committee

Israel Z. Ben-Shaul, Technion, Haifa, Israel
Ritu Chadha, Bellcore, Morristown, NJ, USA
Gang Chen, Southeast University, Nanjing, P. R. of China
Prem Devanbu, University of California at Davis, USA
Patrick J. Finnigan, IBM SWS Toronto Lab, Toronto, Canada
Volker Gruhn, University of Dortmund, Germany
Rudolf K. Keller (Chair), University of Montreal, Canada
Stuart Kent, University of Brighton, UK
Bruno Laguë, Bell Canada, Montreal, Canada
Kai-Uwe Mätzel, Ubilab, Zürich, Switzerland
Peter Mössenböck, University of Linz, Austria
Mauro Pezzè, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
David Rosenblum, University of California at Irvine, USA
Reinhard Schauer, University of Montreal, Canada
Scott Tilley, SEI, CMU, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Andreas Vogel, Visigenic, San Mateo, CA, USA

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Workshop Organizers

Rudolf K. Keller
University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada

Bruno Laguë
Bell Canada, Montreal, Canada

Reinhard Schauer
University of Montreal, Montreal, Canada

Please address questions to Ruedi Keller.

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Workshop Sponsors

o DEXA'98 (9th Intl. Conf. on Database and Expert Systems Applications).
o Bell Canada
o CSER (Canadian Consoritum for Software Engineering Research)

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Related Information and Events

o SPOOL (Spreading Desirable Properties into Object-Oriented, Large-Scale Software Systems).
o Component User's Conference, Munich, Germany, July 13-16, 1998.
o CAiSE*98 Ws. on Component-based Inf. Systems Eng. (CBISE’98), Pisa, Italy, 8-9 June 1998.
o Intl. Ws. on Component-based Software Engineering, Kyoto, Japan, April 25-26, 1998.
o Workshop on Compositional Software Architectures, Monterey, CA, USA, 6-8 January, 1998.

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