NSF Grant CCR-0306613
Transforming Requirement Specifications into Architectural Prescriptions
Requirements to architecture is the first and hardest step in the
process of engineering software systems. Our goal is to understand
how to transform requirements into architectures, and based on that,
to provide practical and effective techniques, methods, processes and
tools to assist in that venture. In doing this research, we take an
empirically-based rather than a technology-based approach in our
research -- that is, we use empirically based techniques to understand
the problem deeply and to evaluate the results of our research rigorously.
Please note that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or
recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s)
and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science
Project Members (over the life of the project):
- Undergraduate Students
- Dana Castillo
- Charles L. Chen
- Graduate Students
- Divya Jani
- Vidya Lakshmi
- Deepika Mahajan
- Danhua Shao
- Matt Hawthorne
- Visiting Students
- Wendy WQ Liu, University of Toronto (Summer 2004, Spring 2005)
- Damien Vanderveken, Universite catholique de Louvain (Fall 2003)
The first two papers represent our first fruits of our interviews with
our architects. The third paper is a consolidation of the comparison
of the van Lamsweerde and the Brandozzi/Perry methods of transforming
requirements to architecture. The fourth paper explores ideas about
architectural styles relevant such non-functional requirements
as adaptability, dependability, and self-healing.
WenQian Liu, Charles L. Chen, Vidya Lakshminarayanan, Dewayne E. Perry.
"A Design for Evidence-based Software Architecture Research".
Workshop on Realising Evidence-Based Software Engineering (REBSE'2005),
International Conference on Software Engineering 2005, St Louis MO, May 2005.
Vidya Lakshminarayanan, WenQian Liu, Charles L Chen, Dewayne E Perry.
"Managing Security Requirements in Practice: A Case Study
-- Extended Abstract --". March 2005
Divya Jani, Damien Vanderveken and Dewayne E Perry.
"Deriving Architectural Specifications from KAOS Specifications:
A Research Case Study",
European Workshop on Software Architecture 2005, Pisa Italy, June 2005
Matthew J. Hawthorne and Dewayne E. Perry.
"Architectural Styles for Adaptable Self-Healing Dependable Systems" ,
Currently in progress are the technical reports incorporating the
results of our analyses for all the questions and the individual
case studies, and the conference and journal papers from Divya's
and Damien's (with Axel van Lamsweerde, U. c. de Louvain, Brussels)
During the summer of this first year we began addressing a
third project goal in the context of a newly formed collaboration with
Prof. Steve Easterbrook, University of Toronto.
Wendy Liu, a student of Prof. Easterbrooks, visited The
University of Texas at Austin this summer (the first of several
projected visits, as well as reciprocal visits that I will make to the
University of Toronto as a member of her thesis committee) to begin
studying what practicing architects do to create architectural
structures appropriate for their non-functional requirements. Ms Liu
has an IBM Fellowship and an entree into IBM in Toronto to complement
my contact with IBM here in Austin. We expect this to be a fruitful
exploration and collaboration.
Work with industrial architects (intially interviewing practicing
architects, and then moving to participant observer
studies) to gain a deep understanding of what they do as part of their work
and how they approach and solve the problems of non-functional
The results of her visit were 1) several iterations over the
questionaire we used for our architects interviews and 2) her
participation in several of our initial interviews here in Austin.
The questionaire is aimed at providing as comprehensive an interview
as possible regarding requirements and architecture and transforming
the former into the latter. Our intent is to use the questionaire as
a starting point for a conversational style, open ended,
Version 1.2 - the current version of the interview:
In the first year of the project we addressed and made a good start on two of
the our project goals:
I was particularly fortunate to have Damien Vanderveken, a student of
Prof. Axel van Lamsweerde, Universite catholique de Louvain, visiting
for the fall semester. This enabled us to do an interesting
comparative evaluation of Prof. van Lamsweerde's and my methods for
transforming goal-directed requirements specifications into
architecture specifications. We used as the basis for this comparison
a Trio specification of a power plant [1, 2] that we specified in KAOS
and enhanced with non-functional requirements. We then used this
latter enhanced specification to create architecture specifications
using both methods. The results are reported in the following report
that we expect to publish as a workshop paper.
Perform a set of evaluation studies to determine both the utility and the
effectiveness of various individual techniques as well as the process as a
Explore the use of architectural styles and patterns to use as
architectural clichés for possible sub-architecture prescriptions that can
be either composed with the functional architecture prescription or used
to guide the transformation of the prescription into one that satisfies the
Divya Jani and Damien Vanderveken,
Experience report: Deriving Architecture Specifications from
KAOS Specifications. December 2003.
Project Supervisor: Prof. Dewayne E. Perry.
Damien then returned to Belgium and the two students then continued using
this comparison as the basis for their respective masters theses, both taking
the same general approach of modifying the respective methods and extending
them to incorporate in various ways the use of architectural styles and
patterns to transform a functional architectural structure into an appropriate
non-functional one. The two theses are listed below.
Prof. Van Lamsweerde and I expect to merge the results of these two
theses into suitable conference and journal papers. I expect this
fruitful collaboration to continue throughout the project.
Manuel Brandozzi and Dewayne E Perry. "From Goal-Oriented Requirements
to Architectural Prescriptions: The Preskiptor Process." International
Workshop From Software Requirements to Architectures (STRAW2),
International Conference on Software Engineering 2003,
Portland OR, May 2003, pp 107-113.
Manuel Brandozzi and Dewayne E. Perry. "Verifying the Preskiptor
Process with Students: an Experimental Design", April 2002.
Manuel Brandozzi and Dewayne E Perry, ``Architectural Prescriptions
for Dependable Systems'', International Workshop on Architecting Dependable Systems,
International Conference on Software Engineering 2002, Orlando FL, May 2002
[slides for the workshop talk]
[an expanded version, unpublished].
Manuel Brandozzi. "From Goal Oriented Requirements Specifications to
Architectural Masters Thesis, Electrical and Computer Engineering, The
University of Texas at Austin, December 2001. Supervisor: Prof. Dewayne
Manuel Brandozzi and Dewayne E Perry. "Transforming Goal Oriented
Requirements Specifications into Architectural Prescriptions."
Workshop From Software Requirements to Architectures (STRAW1),
International Conference on Software Engineering 2001, Toronto, May 2001,
Dewayne E. Perry
- This information last updated February 2005
Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.