Frans Mårtensson; Per Jönsson MSE-2002-02, pp. 54. Inst. för programvaruteknik och datavetenskap/Dept. of Software Engineering and Computer Science, 2002.
A software architecture is one of the first steps towards a software system. A software architecture can be designed in different ways. During the design phase, it is important to select the most suitable design of the architecture, in order to create a good foundation for the system. The selection process is performed by evaluating architecture alternatives against each other. We investigate the use of continuous simulation of a software architecture as a support tool for architecture evaluation. For this purpose, we study a software architecture of an existing software system in an experiment, where we create a model of it using a tool for continuous simulation, and simulate the model. Based on the results from the simulation, we conclude that the system is too complex to be modeled for continuous simulation. Problems we identify are that we need discrete functionality to be able to correctly simulate the system, and that it is very time-consuming to develop a model for evaluation purposes. Thus, we find that continuous simulation is not appropriate for evaluating a software architecture, but that the modeling process is a valuable tool for increasing knowledge and understanding about an architecture.