Lecture Notes in Computer Science vol:4214 pages:180-198
Revisited papers from the International Conference on Quality of Software Architectures location:Vasteras, Sweden date:June 27-29, 2006
For two years, we have been involved in a challenging project to develop a new architecture for an industrial transportation system. The motivating quality attributes to develop this innovative architecture were flexibility and
openness. Taking these quality attributes into account, we proposed a decentralized architecture using multiagent systems (MASs). A MAS consists of multiple autonomous entities that coordinate with each other to achieve decentralized control. The typical advantages attributed to such decentralized architecture are flexibility and openness, the motivating quality attributes to apply MAS in this case.
The Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM) was used to provide insights wether our architecture meets the expected flexibility and openness, and to identify tradeoffs with other quality attributes. Applying the ATAM proved to be a valuable experience. One of the main outcome of applying the ATAM was the identification of a tradeoff between flexibility and communication load that results from the use of a decentralized architecture.
This paper describes our experiences in applying the ATAM to a MAS architecture, containing both the main outcomes of the evaluation and a critical reflection on the ATAM itself.