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Attempting to Understand the Progress of Software Architecture Decision-Making on Large Australian Defence Projects

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2 Author(s)
Trevor C. Harrison ; Defence & Syst. Inst. (DASI), Univ. of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia ; A. Peter Campbell

This short paper details exploratory research into architecture knowledge management (AKM) at the very early stages of architectural design. This is a departure from traditional AKM, instead of a focus on decisions, the focus shifts to decision making. Additional decision theories and decision-making philosophies are needed to supplement the ubiquitous normative decision theory and its associated rational decision-making, which is assumed by AKM to-date as the de facto decision theory. Extensions to the agent model paradigm have been explored to portray the evolution of a set of architecture decisions according to multiple decision theories sourced from the human sciences of neurology, psychology, and sociology. Model Of Software System Architecture Decision-making (MOSSAD) uses agent-based modeling and simulation in an attempt to understand the dynamic complexity of interdependencies & interactions found in decision-to-decision relationships amongst hundreds of decisions and their asynchronous evolutions over time. If understanding is possible, this should lead to knowledge for legitimate progress of architectural decision-making. This in turn should lead to a new theory about the time period necessary for architectural design on a project.

Published in:

Software Architecture (WICSA), 2011 9th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on

Date of Conference:

20-24 June 2011