ISSN : 1796-217X
Volume : 2    Issue : 4    Date : October 2007

Architecture Potential Analysis: A Closer Look inside Architecture Evaluation
Bastian Florentz and Michaela Huhn
Page(s): 43-56
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The share of software in embedded systems has been growing permanently in the recent years.
Thus, software architecture as well as its evaluation have become important parts of the
development of embedded systems to describe, assess, and assure sound architecture as basis
for high quality systems. Furthermore, design space exploration can be based on architecture
evaluation. To achieve an efficient exploration process, architectural decisions need to be taken into
account as part of the architecture. In this paper, a method for analyzing architecture potential on the
basis of dependencies between quality attributes is presented and applied. An explicit
representation and correlation of such dependencies provides decision support for architectural
concerns. Not only can suboptimal decisions be avoided but rather valuable options are highlighted.
Besides the quality of an architecture, knowledge of how to achieve and even improve the quality
can  be analyzed. The latter is the concern of architecture potential analysis presented in this paper.
Furthermore, architectural decisions can be documented and will be traceable and justifiable with
respect to the development rationale. The ongoing development process can then be based on
dependable and well documented architectural decisions. The predictability of change impacts is
increased. Thus, time and costs can be saved by avoiding suboptimal changes.

Index Terms
Embedded Systems, Architecture, Evaluation, Analysis, Design Space Exploration