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Architectural analysis of software variants

: Omer, Mohamed
: Rombach, H. Dieter; Knodel, Jens; Juristo, Natalia

Kaiserslautern, 2009, 77 pp.
Kaiserslautern, TU, Master Thesis, 2009
Master Thesis
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software architecture; software evolution; product line architecture; clustering; SAVE; reflexion model

The software architecture of a system plays a big role during the whole life cycle of a software system. It provides early design decisions that tackle the quality attributes required by a system. It also serves as a controlling artifact in the overall development of the system. In order to preserve the effectiveness of the architecture of a system during the evolution of the system, software architectural compliance checking has been introduced. The software reflexion models approach is one of the static architectural compliance checking approaches that checks the compliance of a source code model to a planned architecture based on mappings created by the user. This mapping is currently done manually and so is usually time consuming which results in high effort. It becomes even worse when analyzing variants of a product line which all require to be maintained.
The goal of this thesis was to reduce the effort involved during the mapping phase of the software reflexion models. More specifically, it addressed the mapping phase in the architectural compliance checking of variants of a product line. Automation techniques such as clustering and generic mapping using rules were employed to derive solutions for the mapping problem. The thesis is accompanied by a tool called VARMAP which realizes the solutions for the mapping problem described in this thesis.
VARMAP was realized and integrated into a tool called SAVE, which is used for the visualization and evaluation of software architectures. VARMAP was validated by performing a pilot study which could serve as a basis for a follow-up experiment. Although not a full experiment, the pilot study results revealed that there is a difference between VARMAP and the tool currently used for the mapping task with respect to expert effort and correctness of the appings created.