Chapter 11Architecture Evaluation Framework

James N. Martin

The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA, USA


True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information.

Winston Churchill

11.1 Introduction

This chapter describes key concepts related to the development and use of an architecture evaluation framework, and a recommended set of steps that could be followed when using these concepts. When we say architecture, we mean architecture as being of the fundamental concepts or properties of a system in its environment embodied in its elements, relationships, and in the principles of its design and evolution (ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010, 2010). The evaluation we strive for is to determine if the architecture to be examined is suitable for the expected situation and that it maximizes the satisfaction of stakeholder concerns. A number of these ideas regarding how to deal with stakeholder concerns are expounded upon in Firesmith's “Method Framework for Engineering System Architectures” (Firesmith et al., 2008).

11.1.1 Architecture in the Decision Space

Architecture is one area within the overall “Decision Space” with regard to doing tradespace analysis as shown in Figure 11.1. The Decision Space represents the range of choices that can be examined during the life of a system. This space is divided into different areas of concern, starting with the operational area of concern, followed by the architectural area of concern. The architecture ...

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