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Identifying and Managing Key Challenges in Architecting Software-Intensive Systems
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (BESS)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2726-4503
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In many traditional industry applications, such as automotive, process automation and manufacturing automation, software plays a crucial role as an enabler for the introduction of new functionality and retaining competitiveness. The system and software architecture plays an important part in ensuring the systems’ qualities. However, the design of the architecture may be neglected during system development, whilst development efforts are centered on implementing new functionality. The architecture is supposed to support and enable key quality attributes such as safety, reliability, maintainability and flexibility, and so on. This thesis identifies some of the key issues in architecting these software intensive systems. In total, 21 issues have been identified; examples of these issues are (1) there is a lack of process for architecture development, (2) there is a lack of method or model to evaluate business value when choosing architecture, (3) there is a lack of clear long-term architectural strategy, and (4) processes and methods are less valued than individuals’ knowledge and competence. Through a series of workshops, root causes were identified for a selection of these issues. Based on these root causes, five success factors were identified. The success factors are (1) define an architectural strategy (2) implement a process for architectural work (3) ensure authority for architects (4) clarify the business impact of the architecture and (5) optimize on the project portfolio level instead of optimizing each project. In an attempt to provide a possible solution to some of the issues, a method has been created to evaluate how new functionality is successfully integrated into an existing architecture. The method is a combination of the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method, ATAM, and the Analytical Hierarchy Process, AHP. The method firstly supports a structured way of listing system goals, and secondly, it also supports design decision-making. Since several issues relate to the organization and are affected by management, a comparison was made between the view of management and architects. This study revealed that one cause for the lack of focus on architecture could be that the existing performance measurement systems used by management all focus on the later phases of development when the architecture is already set.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2011.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 96
National Category
Information Science Software Engineering
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-11816ISBN: 978-91-7485-004-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-11816DiVA: diva2:397160
Public defence
2011-03-18, Beta, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
CoSy
Available from: 2011-02-14 Created: 2011-02-12 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A Case Study of Issues Related to Automotive E/E System Architecture Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Case Study of Issues Related to Automotive E/E System Architecture Development
2008 (English)In: FIFTEENTH IEEE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE AND WORKSHOPS ON THE ENGINEERING OF COMPUTER-BASED SYSTEMS, PROCEEDINGS, 2008, 87-95 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The use of electronics in vehicles is increasing quickly and the systems are becoming increasingly complex. This makes the engineering of these advanced computer-based systems more and more difficult. In particular finding a good architecture is a prerequisite for successful design. In this study we investigate key issues related to real-world decisions regarding a car's electrical and electronic system architecture. To extract the key issues an exploratory case study was performed at a car manufacturer We used semiformal interviews complemented with a survey to validate the results. The contribution of this paper is twelve issues that reflect the situation at a car manufacturer Also, possible actions to deal with theseissues are provided.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-7180 (URN)10.1109/ECBS.2008.46 (DOI)000255505000009 ()2-s2.0-44149105202 (Scopus ID)978-0-7695-3141-0 (ISBN)
Conference
15th IEEE International Conference and Workshop on Engineering of Computer-Based Systems Location: Belfast, NORTH IRELAND Date: MAR 31-APR 04, 2008
Note

Awarded with the best paper award at the conference.

Available from: 2009-09-25 Created: 2009-09-25 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
2. Issues Related to Development of E/E Product Line Architectures in Heavy Vehicles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Issues Related to Development of E/E Product Line Architectures in Heavy Vehicles
2009 (English)In: 42nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, IEEE Computer Society, Hawaii, USA, IEEE Computer Society , 2009, Article number: 4755804- p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The amount of electronics in vehicles is growing quickly, thus systems are becoming increasingly complex which makes the engineering of these software intensive systems more and more difficult. In the automotive industry the use of product line architectures enables a set of vehicles to share architecture to decrease cost and increase quality. In this study we investigate key issues related to real-world decisions regarding electrical and electronic product line architecture for heavy vehicles. To extract key issues a multiple exploratory case study at two heavy vehicle manufacturers was performed. We used semi-formal interviews complemented with a survey to validate the results. The contribution of this study is 14 issues that reflect the situation at the two companies. Many of the identified issues relate to non technical areas such as organization, process, methods and tools, and management. Moreover, possible actions to deal with these issues are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2009
National Category
Software Engineering Software Engineering
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4384 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2009.276 (DOI)2-s2.0-63349083980 (Scopus ID)9780769534503 (ISBN)
Conference
42nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS; Waikoloa, HI; United States; 5 January 2009 through 9 January 2009
Projects
Business Oriented Concept Development of Electronic System Architecture and Platforms in Vehicles
Note

http://www.mrtc.mdh.se/index.php?choice=publications&id=1580

Available from: 2008-11-27 Created: 2008-11-27 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
3. Practitioners’ views of Key Issues and their Solutions in the Development of System and Software Architecture
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Practitioners’ views of Key Issues and their Solutions in the Development of System and Software Architecture
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Context: In many traditional industry applications, including automotive, process automation and manufacturing automation, software plays a crucial role as an enabler in the introduction of new functionality and to stay competitive. System and software architecture plays an important part in ensuring the qualities of the systems. However, the design of the architecture may be neglected during system development, whilst development efforts are centered on implementing new functionality.

Objective: We present the challenges, problems, and success factors that are central to the architectural development of software intensive systems as judged by practitioners.

Method: The method used consisted of three steps. First, we used semi-structured interviews to collect data in an exploratory manner. In a second step, a survey based on issues extracted from the structured interview data was used to investigate the occurrence of these issues in a wide range of organizations. In order to identify and suggest solutions to the issues that were considered important, we finally performed root cause analysis workshops.

Results: A total of 21 issues have been identified, and examples of these issues are (1) there is a lack of process in architecture development, (2) there is a lack of methodology or models for evaluating business value when choosing architecture, (3) there is a lack of clear long-term architectural strategy, and (4) processes and methods are of less value than the knowledge and competence of individuals.

Conclusion: In conclusion, we are convinced that the following success factors are crucial components in developing software intensive systems: (1) defining an architectural strategy, (2) implementing a process for architectural work, (3) ensuring authority for architects, (4) clarifying the business impact of the architecture, and (5) optimization at the project portfolio level, instead of optimizing each project.

 

Keyword
System and software architecture, practical experience, success factors, embedded systems
National Category
Software Engineering Information Science
Research subject
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-11810 (URN)
Projects
CoSy
Available from: 2011-02-12 Created: 2011-02-11 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
4. Architecture knowledge management during system evolution: observations from practitioners
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Architecture knowledge management during system evolution: observations from practitioners
2010 (English)In: Proceedings of the 2010 ICSE Workshop on Sharing and Reusing Architectural Knowledge, 2010, 52-59 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

It is widely accepted that awareness of architectural decisions enables better management and planning of system evolution, refactoring, and modernization efforts. In this paper we report data from interviews with software architects about how practitioners utilize architecture during system evolution. Our results show, despite the widely shared view that long-lived systems are better off with strong architectures; basic architecture-centric practices are not followed systematically. The key gap we observe is in correct and timely communication of architectural issues. This overall finding is not surprising. However, our data also contributes to how architecture knowledge management activities can be focused for most benefit throughout a system's lifespan. While the often-referenced problem is lack of time spent on documentation and design practices, our interviews show that lack of quality attribute reasoning early on, and during the lifespan of the system is a key contributor to failing to use architecture knowledge effectively during evolution.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-10863 (URN)10.1145/1833335.1833343 (DOI)2-s2.0-78649884682 (Scopus ID)9781605589671 (ISBN)
Conference
2010 ICSE Workshop on Sharing and Reusing Architectural Knowledge, SHARK 2010, in Conjunction with the 32nd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2010; Cape Town; South Africa; 2 May 2010 through 8 May 2010
Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
5. Limiting Practices in Developing and Managing Software-Intensive Systems: A Comparative Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Limiting Practices in Developing and Managing Software-Intensive Systems: A Comparative Study
2010 (English)In: PICMET 2010: TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT FOR GLOBAL ECONOMIC GROWTH, Phuket, Thailand, 2010Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Within the automotive industry, up to 90 percent of all new features are dependent on electronics and software. Consequently, the amount of software and electronics in vehicles is rapidly increasing. The same trend has been observed in other domains, such as telecom, avionics, trains, and more. An important factor in dealing with this inherent complexity is the use of a system architecture. The architecture is typically an enabler for both efficiency and effectiveness in the development of software-intensive systems but not directly connected to the customer needs. For example, the architecture can increase the agility of upcoming product releases in order to cost effectively satisfy future customer needs. By combining two parallel multiple case studies, one focusing on the architects view, and the other one focusing on the managerial perspective, we have identified six limitations. Our results indicate that the focus is on customer requirements for the current product, on the expense of the internal requirements related to the development of the architecture and long-term profitability. Further, even if the early phases of development are identified as a success criterion, they are still not given enough attention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Phuket, Thailand: , 2010
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-10864 (URN)000287527800168 ()978-1-890843-22-9 (ISBN)
Conference
Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET 10) Location: Natl Elect & Comp Technol Ctr (NECTEC), Natl Sci & Technol Dev Agcy (NSTDA, Portland
Available from: 2010-11-10 Created: 2010-11-10 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved
6. Making Decisions in Integration of Automotive Software and Electronics: A Method Based on ATAM and AHP
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Making Decisions in Integration of Automotive Software and Electronics: A Method Based on ATAM and AHP
2007 (English)In: Proceedings - ICSE 2007 Workshops: Fourth International Workshop on Software Engineering for Automotive Systems, SEAS'07, 2007, Article number 4228592-- p.Conference paper, Published paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we present a new method for makingdecisions on integration strategy for in-vehicle automotive systems.We describe the problem of choosing integration strategy and wedescribe the method, which is a combination of the ArchitectureTradeoff Analysis Method, ATAM, and the Analytical HierarchyProcess, AHP. We exemplify the use of the proposed method byevaluating the integration decisions concerning the physicalconnection of a realistic example system; a computer controlledautomatic gearbox. We present analysis on the use of the method andconclude that the method has several benefits compared to ATAM orAHP used individually. The method firstly supports a structured wayof listing system goals, and secondly, it also supports the makingof design decisions.

National Category
Engineering and Technology Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4142 (URN)10.1109/SEAS.2007.7 (DOI)2-s2.0-36248952589 (Scopus ID)9780769529684 (ISBN)
Conference
ICSE 2007 Workshops: 4th International Workshop on Software Engineering for Automotive Systems, SEAS'07; Minneapolis, MN; United States; 20 May 2007 through 26 May 2007
Available from: 2007-11-14 Created: 2007-11-14 Last updated: 2016-09-27Bibliographically approved

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