Improving the IEEE std 1471-2000 for Communication among Stakeholders and Early Design Decisions

L.F. Fernández-Martínez, C. Lemus-Olalde, and M.A. Serrano (Mexico)


: Software architecture, software design and development, IEEE std 1471-2000.


There are, at least, three reasons why software architecture is important: a) communication among stakeholders, b) early design decisions, and c) transferable abstraction of a system. The IEEE Recommended Practice for Architectural Description of Software-Intensive Systems introduces a conceptual model that integrates mission, environment, system architecture, architecture description, rationale, stakeholders, concerns, viewpoints, library viewpoint, views, and architectural models facilitating the expression, communication, evaluation, and comparison of architectures in a consistent manner. However, the standard does not specify a delivery format for architectural description. In addition, it is difficult to know if an architecture is compliant with the principles of design imposed by a specific concern. A similar effort, to describe software architectures is the creation and improvement of special-purpose languages, known as architecture description languages (ADLs). ADLs have the disadvantage of not providing adequate support for separating several kinds of concerns across different viewpoints. In order to alleviate these issues, our work proposes an enhancement to the conceptual model introduced in the standard. The enhanced model, improves two of the reasons mentioned: a) communication among stakeholders and b) early design decisions.

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