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Many computer science languages have been developed over the years that have concentrated on language fundamentals for the definition of algorithms and data structures. These traditional computer science languages give little help in defining the architecture of a system, especially a large distributed system. Architecture defines the components of a system and their interfaces, methods of communication, and behaviors. A Distributed Architecture Definition Language (DADL) [#!Burback:1997DADL!#] is proposed that extends the existing paradigm used in programming to include architecture descriptions for a particular class of distributed system architectures.

The architectural description language will provide fundamentals that concentrate on the conversation, communication, contracts, and behaviors of elements in the distributed system.

A DADL will be defined and used to describe a family of different distributive architectures. A program written in DADL can be compiled into different materializations of the architecture. Each materialization has different performance and resource characteristics leading to an optimizing choice.

It will be shown that large architectural variations can be described with minimal changes, thus showing the elaboration tolerance of DADL programs.

Ronald LeRoi Burback