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An Interview-Based Case Study in Software Architecture Evolution

Jeffrey M. Barnes.

2014. Submitted for Publication.

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In recent years, researchers have worked to develop approaches and models to support software architects in planning and carrying out major evolutions of software systems. To date, this line of work has been largely theoretical. These new approaches and models are seldom accompanied by empirical evidence to support them, let alone subjected to rigorous empirical evaluation. This paper describes a formal case study examining architecture evolution in a real-world organization. Based on content analysis of interview data and architectural documentation, the study examines how practicing architects plan and reason about evolution, what challenges they face, and whether the modeling approach developed in our previous work can capture the concerns that arise in a real-world evolution.
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