A Top-Down Approach to Quality Driven Architectural Engineering of Software Systems

Kwanwoo LEE  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E88-D   No.12   pp.2757-2766
Publication Date: 2005/12/01
Online ISSN: 
DOI: 10.1093/ietisy/e88-d.12.2757
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Software Engineering
Keyword: 
quality requirements,  architectural design,  architectural tradeoff analysis,  top-down approach,  

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Summary: 
Designing a software architecture that satisfies multiple quality requirements is a difficult undertaking. This is mainly due to the fact that architects must be able to explore a broad range of architectural choices and analyze tradeoffs among them in light of multiple quality requirements. As the size and complexity of the system increase, architectural design space to be explored and analyzed becomes more complex. In order to systematically manage the complexity, this paper proposes a method that guides architects to explore and analyze architectural decisions in a top-down manner. In the method, architectural decisions that have global impacts on given quality requirements are first explored and analyzed and those that have local impacts are then taken into account in the context of the decisions made in the previous step. This approach can cope with the complexity of large-scale architectural design systematically, as architectural decisions are analyzed and made following the abstraction hierarchy of quality requirements. To illustrate the concepts and applicability of the proposed method, we have applied this method to the architectural design of the computer used for the continuous casting process by an iron and steel manufacturer.