PhD ceremony: Mr. N.B. Harrison, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Title: Improving quality attributes of software systems through software architecture patterns
Promotor(s): prof. P. Avgeriou
Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Some of the most important requirements of any software system are those that concern its quality attributes, such as reliability, performance, security, and usability. Quality attributes tend to be system-wide characteristics which require system-wide, or architectural design approaches. The architecture of a software system can make it easier or more difficult to achieve required levels of quality attributes.
Software architecture patterns describe software architectures, and can help software designers create software architectures. Some patterns describe their effect on quality attributes, but such information is incomplete and generally superficial. Furthermore, there has been no systematic understanding of how patterns impact quality attributes.
The key to understanding lies in the implementation of software to achieve quality attributes. These specific measures are called tactics. A study of tactics reveals that they can be implemented with various types of changes to given architecture patterns, which range from no change required to major changes required. This shows why certain quality attributes are easy or difficult to implement in given patterns.
This information can help architects select the best architecture patterns and tactics to use in their software designs. They can compare patterns and tactics to determine which are most likely to support the quality attributes that are important for the application being designed. In addition, the information can be used to during architecture evaluations to identify issues with quality attributes, before the code is implemented. Several architecture evaluations have been conducted, and have been successful at uncovering important issues concerning the software’s architecture.
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