Representing Variability in Software Architecture

PhD Thesis

Haider, Umaima 2016. Representing Variability in Software Architecture. PhD Thesis University of East London Architecture Computing and Engineering
AuthorsHaider, Umaima
TypePhD Thesis

Software Architecture is a high level description of a software intensive system that enables architects to have a better intellectual control over the complete system. It is also used as a communication vehicle among the various system stakeholders. Variability in software-intensive systems is the ability of a software artefact (e.g., a system, subsystem, or component) to be extended, customised, or configured for deployment in a specific context. Although variability in software architecture is recognised as a challenge in multiple domains, there has been no formal consensus on how variability should be captured or represented.
In this research, we addressed the problem of representing variability in software architecture through a three phase approach. First, we examined existing literature using the Systematic Literature Review (SLR) methodology, which helped us identify the gaps and challenges within the current body of knowledge. Equipped with the findings from the SLR, a set of design principles have been formulated that are used to introduce variability management capabilities to an existing Architecture Description Language (ADL). The chosen ADL was developed within our research group (ALI) and to which we have had complete access. Finally, we evaluated the new version of the ADL produced using two distinct case studies: one from the Information Systems domain, an Asset Management System (AMS); and another from the embedded systems domain, a Wheel Brake System (WBS).
This thesis presents the main findings from the three phases of the research work, including a comprehensive study of the state-of-the-art; the complete specification of an ADL that is focused on managing variability; and the lessons learnt from the evaluation work of two distinct real-life case studies.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintApr 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Jun 2016
Publisher's version
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