Title: Component Identification Framework and Toolkit (CIFT) in Support of Reusable Class Libraries

May 1997

Author:  Shahin Samadi, Department of Computer Science, The George Washington University

Dissertation directed by: Carol Dianne Martin, Professor of Engineering and Applied Science


For any software reuse approach to be successful, it must be an indispensable part of the software development life cycle. An essential step in the software reuse process is finding the components that meet a development need. A well constructed reusable class structure (minimum coupling and maximum cohesion) packaged with a well-defined message passing mechanism can be used as a building block throughout the development of many object-oriented software systems. There are a variety of well-mainatined class libraries available on the Internet. In addition, there are easy to use searching mechanisms to look for particular libraries on the net.

A World Wide Web based framework, Component Identification Framework and Toolkit (CIFT) was developed to use a set of predefined facets to extract the syntactic information of a class library and its content. This is information is mapped into information-layers based on their importance to the ruse activity. These layers are used to present a hierarchical and visual map of the library using the object-oriented software development notations. Reuse would then utilize this visual map as an interface to browse the content of the library. A study was done using a prototype toolkit based on this framework. The results of the study show that CIFT can be effective in assisting software developers to identify their desired reusable classes in the early stages of the development life cycle.