Date of Award

Winter 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Modeling Simul & Visual Engineering

Committee Director

Andreas Tolk

Committee Member

Frederic D. McKenzie

Committee Member

Charles Keating

Committee Member

Thomas Pawlowski


The objective of this dissertation study is to conduct a holistic investigation into the elements of executable architectures. Current research in the field of Executable Architectures has provided valuable solution-specific demonstrations and has also shown the value derived from such an endeavor. However, a common theory underlying their applications has been missing.

This dissertation develops and explores a method for holistically developing an Executable Architecture Specification (EAS), i.e., a meta-model containing both semantic and syntactic information, using a conceptual framework for guiding data coding, analysis, and validation. Utilization of this method resulted in the description of the elements of executable architecture in terms of a set of nine information interrogatives: an executable architecture information ontology. Once the detail-rich EAS was constructed with this ontology, it became possible to define the potential elements of executable architecture through an intermediate level meta-model. The intermediate level meta-model was further refined into an interrogative level meta-model using only the nine information interrogatives, at a very high level of abstraction.