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Evolution Styles: Foundations and Tool Support for Software Architecture Evolution

David Garlan, Jeffrey M. Barnes, Bradley Schmerl and Orieta Celiku.

In Proceedings of the Joint Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture 2009 & European Conference on Software Architecture 2009, Cambridge, UK, 14-17 September 2009.

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As new market opportunities, technologies, platforms, and frameworks become available, systems require large-scale and systematic architectural restructuring to accommodate them. Today’s architects have few tools and techniques to help them plan this architecture evolution. In particular, they have little assistance in planning alternative evolution paths, trading-off various aspects of the different paths, or knowing best practices for particular domains. In this paper we describe an approach for assisting architects in developing and reasoning about architectural evolution paths. The key in-sight of our approach is that, architecturally, many system evolutions follow certain common patterns – or evolution styles. We define what we mean by an evolution style, and show how it can be used to provide automated assistance for expressing architectural evolution, and for reasoning about both the correctness and quality of evolution paths.

Keywords: Architecture Evolution.  
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