Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair

Murali Sitaraman.


To enhance applicability and encourage its use, a component or a component-based system must have a well-designed set of interface features as well as a proper explanation of these features. The dual problem of designing a suitable set of interface features in addition to properly explaining its behavior is termed the specification design problem. This dissertation identifies observability, controllability, and a performance-motivated pragmatic criterion as essential properties of desirable formal specifications for reusable object-based software components. The pragmatic criterion guides the design of component interfaces and component libraries to a suitable set of features so that they are widely applicable, both in terms of functionality and performance, yet minimal in size, whereas observability and controllability considerations lead to most suitable formal explanations of the interfaces.;This dissertation formally defines the principles of observability and controllability for object-based software specifications, including those with relational behavior. These principles, in addition to the minimality and performance considerations embodied in the pragmatic criterion, lead to the unique collection of concepts in the RESOLVE component specification library. These principles form a basis for evaluation of existing object-based software specifications, and also lead to designs of new specifications that are among the most desirable in terms of understandability and utility.