Control and Definition Modularization: An Improved Software Design Technique for Organizing Programs

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A method is needed to help the designer translate a structure chart into a physical layout of the source code so that the code is easier to understand, change, and enhance. In this paper we propose a technique called control and definition modularization (CDM) which derives a systematic program layout from a given structure chart using the concepts of “control” and “definition” modules. A control module includes processes to handle a conceptual data object not directly implementable. A definition module defines operations associated with a concrete data object implementable using a primitive or derived data type of a programming language. Grouping the operations available for each concrete data object, and keeping them separated from execution flow, improves program maintainability. This technique extends the structured design methodology and provides designers with a systematic way of deriving informational strength modules as well as a structured physical layout from the structure chart. The resulting program, based on the CDM technique, is easier to understand and maintain. This research makes a significant contribution toward bridging the gap between structured design and object-oriented concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-99
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Software Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990


  • Control and definition modules
  • Program layout
  • Software design technique
  • Software maintenance
  • Structured design


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