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Foundations for the Study of Software Architecture

By Dewayne E. Perry and Alexander L. Wolf


The purpose of this paper is to build the foundation for software architecture. We first develop an intuition for software architecture by appealing to several well-established architectural disciplines. On the basis of this intuition, we present a model of software architec-ture that consists of three components: elements, form, and rationale. Elements are either processing, data, or connecting elements. Form is defined in terms of the properties of, and the relationships among, the elements-- that is, the constraints on the elements. The ratio-nale provides the underlying basis for the architecture in terms of the system constraints, which most often derive from the system:requirements. We discuss the compo-nents of the model in the context of both architectures and architectural styles and present an extended exam-ple to illustrate some important architecture and style considerations. We conclude by presenting some of the benefits of our approach to software architecture, sum-marizing our contributions, and relating our approach to other current work

Year: 1992
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