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Sebastian Herold, Andreas Rausch

A Rule-Based Approach to Architecture Conformance Checking as a Quality Management Measure

The process of divergence between intended software architecture and its actual implementation, often called architecture erosion or architectural drifts, has in general negative effects on the overall quality of the system. It is hence very important to be able to check whether the realization of a system conforms to its intended architecture.

Consistency between models and conformance are important issues in model-based software development. Conformance between models can be guaranteed partially “by construction“ through conformance preserving (semi-) automatic model transformations. Nevertheless, due to manual modification of models and the refinement and abstraction steps from high-level models to more detailed models complete inter-model consistency cannot be guaranteed a-priori in general but must be checked regularly.

In this work, we address the checking of architectural conformance in a model-based development setting. The broad range of sources for architectural rules, i.e. constraints restricting the way an architecture can be implemented, and the large number of different artefacts influenced by them, requires very flexible tool support that is challenging to realize. We describe an approach to flexible architecture conformance checking based on a formalization of architectural rules as logical formulas. The approach is implemented prototypically and is applied in small application scenario.




Relating System Quality and Software Architecture




Accepted for publication.

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