Assessing the benefits of search-based approaches when designing self-adaptive systems: a controlled experiment
Keywords:Self-adaptive systems, Software architecture, Software modeling, Search-based software engineering, Empirical software engineering
The well-orchestrated use of distilled experience, domain-specific knowledge, and well-informed trade-off decisions is imperative if we are to design effective architectures for complex software-intensive systems. In particular, designing modern self-adaptive systems requires intricate decision-making over a remarkably complex problem space and a vast array of solution mechanisms. Nowadays, a large number of approaches tackle the issue of endowing software systems with self-adaptive behavior from different perspectives and under diverse assumptions, making it harder for architects to make judicious decisions about design alternatives and quality attributes trade-offs. It has currently been claimed that search-based software design approaches may improve the quality of resulting artifacts and the productivity of design processes, as a consequence of promoting a more comprehensive and systematic representation of design knowledge and preventing design bias and false intuition. To the best of our knowledge, no empirical studies have been performed to provide sound evidence of such claim in the self-adaptive systems domain.;Methods
This paper reports the results of a quasi-experiment performed with 24 students of a graduate program in Distributed and Ubiquitous Computing. The experiment evaluated the design of self-adaptive systems using a search-based approach proposed by us, in contrast to the use of a non-automated approach based on architectural styles catalogs. The goal was to investigate to which extent the adoption of search-based design approaches impacts on the effectiveness and complexity of resulting architectures. In addition, we also analyzed the approachs potential for leveraging the acquisition of distilled design knowledge.;
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Copyright (c) 2021 Sandro S Andrade, Raimundo J de A Macêdo
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