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Investigating Architecture Description Languages (ADLs) A Systematic Literature Review
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, Software and Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Context: Over the last two decades, software architecture has introduced a new trend insoftware development. This new trend has completely changed the normal methods andpractices of software engineering. The focus has become the architectural elements ratherthan code and sub-routines. Architecture description languages (ADLs) have been proposedfor this kind of architecture based software development. There are a number of differentADLs both in academia and industry; they are not totally adopted by the software engineeringcommunity, but they are not avoided either. In this research work, an investigation has beenperformed based on the ADLs evaluation in practice.

Objectives: The main aim of this study is to investigate evaluation of ADLs in academia andindustry. To explore the benefits and drawbacks of ADLs in practice. The study also exploresthe different quality factors improved by ADLs. Further different methods used to buildarchitecture with ADLs and then how to use architecture described with an ADL in softwaredevelopment and maintenance have also been reported.

Methods: This research study has been carried out using the systematic literature reviewmethod. The systematic literature review follows the guidelines suggested by Kitchenham[21].

Results: This research review has resulted in total of 102 different ADLs. It has been foundthat out of the 102 different ADLs, 69 ADLs have been evaluated in academia and only 33ADLs have been evaluated in industry. ADLs have also been classified based on theirindustrial and academia evaluation. There are total 31 different benefits and 19 differentdrawbacks of ADLs have been identified. This review also extracted 20 different qualityfactors from literature that are improved by using ADLs in practice. Further 13 differentmethods used to build architecture with ADL have also been reported. Finally 9 differentmethods of ADLs used in software development and maintenance have been identified.

Conclusions: The Large number of ADLs with little evaluation in industry suggests thatmore work needs to be done in order to improve ADLs evaluation in practice. ADLs providemore benefits compared to their drawbacks which suggests that ADLs can be very beneficial.Knowledge gained during this research study, suggests that ADLs are mostly unrecognized.More awareness about ADLs should be provided in education and practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 56 p.
Keyword [en]
Architecture Description Languages, Benefits / Drawbacks, Quality Factors, Software Development, Software Maintenance
National Category
Software Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-104856ISRN: LIU-IDA/LITH-EX-A--13/070--SEOAI: diva2:699757
Subject / course
Computer and information science at the Institute of Technology
Available from: 2014-03-24 Created: 2014-02-28 Last updated: 2014-03-24Bibliographically approved

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Systematic Literature Review of Architecture Description Languages (ADLs)(1200 kB)797 downloads
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Hussain, Sajjad
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Software and SystemsThe Institute of Technology
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