Static and Dynamic Structure in Design Patterns

Eric Eide, Alastair Reid, John Regehr, and Jay Lepreau

University of Utah, School of Computing

Technical Report UUCS-01-014
November 1, 2001

A revised version of this paper was published in Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2002), Orlando, FL, May 2002. Please read and cite the published ICSE 2002 paper in preference to this report.


Design patterns are a valuable mechanism for emphasizing structure, capturing design expertise, and facilitating restructuring of software systems. Patterns are typically applied in the context of an object-oriented language and are implemented so that the pattern participants correspond to object instances that are created and connected at run-time. This paper describes a complementary realization of design patterns, in which the pattern participants are statically instantiated and connected components.

Our approach separates the static parts of the software design from the dynamic parts of the system behavior. This separation makes the software design more amenable to analysis, enabling more effective and domain specific detection of system design errors, prediction of run-time behavior, and more effective optimization. This technique is applicable to imperative, functional, and object-oriented languages: we have extended C, Scheme, and Java with our component model. In this paper, we illustrate this approach in the context of the OSKit, a collection of operating system components written in C.

Eric Eide <>
Last modified: Thu Feb 21 11:38:52 MST 2002