Object-oriented software development methods deal with concurrency according to either the implicit concurrency model or the explicit concurrency model. In the implicit model, the objects themselves have concurrent execution capabilities whereas in the explicit model, objects are encapsulated inside processes, the latter providing concurrent execution capabilities. Both models have their advantages and disadvantages. In this paper, we propose applying the implicit model only while conducting object-oriented analysis and then switching over to the explicit model in the design phase. The implicit model naturally fits the analysis phase because the resulting models of the software system will be based on objects—the important concepts of the application—not the issues of how concurrency is implemented. A switch over to the explicit model in the design phase achieves smooth integration with already existing software consisting of processes—which is the main constraint in many industrial applications. This paper presents in detail a systematic solution for the switch over between the concurrency models that applies for soft real-time systems and demonstrates it by a simplified example from a real telecommunication project. Any object-oriented method not yet dealing with concurrency issues can easily integrate the solution. ©1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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