Application of Multi-ViewPoint Clustering Analysis to a Highway Maintenance System
  • Agency: Department of Transportation.
  • Duration: September 1993 - January 1994.

   Capabilities Being Demonstrated:
  • Extraction of the Software Architecture
  • Reduction of Test Cases
  • Exposing Restructurable Regions in Software
  • Verification & Validation
    • Conflict or rule pair anomalies
    • Redundancy
    • Incompleteness

In August 1993, Pragati Inc. received its first contract from the Department of Transportation for the application of MVP-CA methodology to a relatively large and complex expert system for pavement maintenance, the Pavement Maintenance Expert System (PAMEX). PAMEX has 327 diagnostic/monitoring Exsys rules, where symptoms are examined, causes are inferred for these symptoms, and remedies are advocated. A typical symptom might be distress data, such as type and extent of cracking; cause might be weather-related; and the remedy might be an overlay. The search space for possible causes of system deterioration is large enough to be unmanageable for verification, validation, and maintenance.

The validity and usefulness of presenting multiple viewpoints on PAMEX was demonstrated under this contract. Through the MVP-CA tool we were able to extract the natural software architecture of PAMEX, which happened to be a two-tiered tree. We also showed how various viewpoints could suggest alternate organizations of this tree. The suggested changes would be helpful for increasing the runtime efficiency of PAMEX, as well as in increasing the comprehensibility and maintainability of this software. Another significant contribution of our research on PAMEX was to show how multiple viewpoints could support the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) concept of reduced testing.

  1. M. Mehrotra. Application of Multi-ViewPoint Clustering Analysis to a Highway Maintenance System. Technical Report FHWA-RD-95087, Federal Highway Administration, McLean, VA, August 1995.

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