Campus: CSU Northridge -- February 22, 2002
CSUN Professor Receives Patent for Software Design Method that
Creates Reusable Components
Cal State Northridge computer science professor Shan Barkataki has
received a patent from the U.S. government for a software design that
includes reusable components for use in the aerospace and defense industry.
Barkataki said that while he is pleased to receive the patent, he is more
proud of what it represents.
"The development of the method was the result of a collaboration
between me and my colleagues at Northrop-Grumman," he said. "It's
critical that we increase the collaboration between the university and
local industry. A lot of great things can grow out of this. The patent
shows that collaboration works."
Diane Schwartz, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Computer
Science, said that faculty like Barkataki exemplify the best of her college.
"Every day, faculty and students contribute to the development of
cutting edge technology that has practical applications," Schwartz
said. "We are proud of the accomplishments of faculty like professor
Barkataki, who not only impact industry, but make lasting impressions
on their students. These achievements are more gratifying when they involve
the collaboration of corporate partners like Northrop-Grumman, and we
look forward to future developments."
Barkataki said it took more than three years to get the patent for his
method of creating and using system independent software components.
He said the idea for the method came while he was working with colleagues
at Northrop-Grumman designing software for air-defense systems. The design
team was challenged to come up with a product that would go beyond the
immediate task of building a specific air defense system.
"The team met that challenge by devising an innovative method for
creating highly reusable software," Barkataki said.
Barkataki explained that modern software is designed in small pieces,
called components, which are assembled into large complex systems, "much
like a builder makes a house using many small parts that snugly fit together."
"When constructing a house, the builder can 'reuse' parts and designs
created earlier - roof structure, electrical systems, plumbing systems,"
he said. "In contrast, the parts used in building software systems
tend to be custom designed for a specific system. Components created for
one system do not fit snugly in another. Given that making software is
very expensive, there is strong incentive to build components that can
be reused in many systems with ease."
That is just what Barkataki and his colleagues at Northrop-Grumman did.
They devised an innovative method for creating reusable software components
used in aerospace and defense systems.
Barkataki now teaches that method to students in his computer science
classes at Cal State Northridge, and it currently is being used by engineers
and computer scientists at Northrop-Grumman.