Projects of the Experimental Software Engineering Group at the University of Maryland


SEL Reuse Study


Since 1985 the Software Engineering Laboratory (SEL) has been evolving methods of software reuse through a series of studies, experiments, pilot projects, and full-fledged development projects at the Flight Dynamics Division (FDD) of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). This effort has resulted in a large body of experience and knowledge about the reuse benefits of Ada83 and OO technology in particular. In recent years, "reuse" in the FDD has taken some new forms. One is the development and use of the Generalized Support Software (GSS) Domain Engineering Process. By means of this process, the FDD has shifted from developing applications to configuring applications out of generalized, reusable assets. Another form of reuse has been the use of 4th generation languages and tools, such as MATLAB. Yet another form is the incorporation of packaged (COTS and GOTS) components into software systems. This last form of reuse is actually the subject of the SEL COTS Study. The problem addressed by this study is how to distinguish the different types of reuse that are taking place in the FDD and understand when they are appropriate and effective.


  • Characterize the GSS application deployment process in depth, its strengths and weaknesses, and make improvement recommendations
  • Investigate alternatives to GSS for attitude systems, including other products and reuse processes, and determine their strengths and weaknesses
  • Provide guidance to future missions which must decide how to satisfy their attitude software requirements as to what alternatives might be best for their needs


reuse, object-oriented frameworks, COTS, GOTS


Computer Sciences Corporation:


University of Maryland:


"Evolving the Reuse Process at the Flight Dynamics Division (FDD), Goddard Space Flight Center". S. Condon, C. Seaman, V. Basili, S. Kraft, J. Kontio, Y. Kim. In Proceedings of the 21st Software Engineering Workshop, NASA/GSFC Software Engineering Laboratory, December 1996, pp.27-58.

"The Generalized Support Software (GSS) Domain Engineering Process: An Object-Oriented Implementation and Reuse Success at Goddard Space Flight Center". Steven Condon, Robert Hendrick, Michael E. Stark, Warren Steger. Presented at OOPSLA, October 1996.

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Last updated: March 20, 1998 by Carolyn Seaman