The development of Behavioral Dependency Analysis (BDA) techniques and the visualization of such dependencies have been identified as a high priority in industrial Distributed Real-Time Systems (DRTS). BDA determines the extent to which the functionality of one system entity (e.g., an object, a node) is dependent on other entities. Among many uses, a BDA is traditionally used to perform risk analysis and assessment, fault tolerance and redundancy provisions (e.g. multiple instances of a system entity) in DRTS. Traditionally, most BDA techniques are based on source code or execution traces of a system. However, as model driven development is gaining more popularity, there is a need for model-based BDA techniques. To address this need, we propose a set of procedures and measures for the BDA of distributed objects based on behavioral models (UML sequence diagrams). In contrast to the conventional code-based and execution-trace-based BDA techniques, this measure can be used earlier in the software development life cycle, when the UML design model of a system becomes available, to provide engineers with early insights into dependencies among entities in a DRTS (e.g., early risk identification). We also present a dependency visualization model to visualize measured dependencies. Our approach is applied to a case study to show its applicability and potential usefulness in predicting behavioral dependencies based on UML models.

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Garousi, V. (Vahid), Briand, L.C. (Lionel C.), & Labiche, Y. (2006). Analysis and visualization of behavioral dependencies among distributed objects based on UML models.