Architecture-Level Modifiability Analysis

Document type: Dissertations
Full text:
Author(s): PerOlof Bengtsson
Title: Architecture-Level Modifiability Analysis
Series: Blekinge Institute of Technology Dissertation Series
Year: 2002
Issue: 2
Pagination: 202
ISBN: 91-7295-007-2
ISSN: 1650-2159
Publisher: Blekinge Institute of Technology
City: Ronneby
Organization: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Department: Department of Software Engineering and Computer Science (Institutionen för programvaruteknik och datavetenskap)
Dept. of Software Engineering and Computer Science S-372 25 Ronneby
+46 455 38 50 00
Language: English
Abstract: Cost, quality and lead-time are three main concerns in software
engineering projects. The quality of developed software has
traditionally been evaluated on completed systems. Evaluating
the product quality at completion introduces a great risk of
wasting effort on software products with inadequate system
qualities. It is the objective of this thesis to define and study
methods for assessment, evaluation and prediction of software
systems’ modifiability characteristics based on their architecture
designs. Since software architecture design is made early in the
development, architecture evaluation helps detect inadequate
designs and thus reduces the risk of implementing systems of
insufficient quality.
We present a method for architecture-level analysis of
modifiability (ALMA) that analyses the modifiability potential
of a software system based on its software architecture design.
The method is scenario-based and either compares architecture
candidates, assesses the risk associated with modifications of the
architecture, or predicts the effort needed to implement
anticipated modifications. The modification prediction results
in three values; a prediction of the modification effort and the
predicted best- and worst-case effort for the same system and
change scenario profile. In this way the prediction method
provides a frame-of-reference that supports the architect in the
decision whether the modifiability is acceptable or not.
The method is based on the experiences and results from one
controlled experiment and seven case-studies, where five case
studies are part of this thesis. The experiment investigates
different ways to organize the scenario elicitation and finds that
a group of individually prepared persons produce better profiles
than individuals or unprepared groups.
Subject: Software Engineering\General
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-00225