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As new market opportunities, technologies, platforms, and frameworks become available, systems require large-scale and systematic architectural restructuring to accommodate them. Today's architects have few tools and techniques to help them plan this architecture evolution. In particular, they have little assistance in planning alternative evolution paths, trading off various aspects of the different paths, or knowing best practices for particular domains. In this paper we describe an approach for assisting architects in developing and reasoning about architectural evolution paths. The key insight of our approach is that, architecturally, many system evolutions follow certain common patterns - or evolution styles. We define what we mean by an evolution style, and show how it can be used to provide automated assistance for expressing architectural evolution, and for reasoning about both the correctness and quality of evolution paths.
Date of Conference: 14-17 Sept. 2009