An industrial case study on an architectural assumption documentation framework
Journal article, 2017

As an important type of architectural knowledge, documenting architectural assumptions (AAs) is critical to the success of projects. In this work, we proposed and validated an Architectural Assumption Documentation Framework (AADF), which is composed of four viewpoints (i.e., the Detail, Relationship, Tracing, and Evolution viewpoint), to document AAs in projects. One case study with two cases was conducted at two companies from different domains and countries. The main findings are: (1) AADF can be understood by architects in a short time (i.e., a half day workshop); (2) the AA Evolution view requires the least time to create, followed by the AA Detail view and the AA Relationship view; (3) AADF can help stakeholders to identify risks and understand AAs documented by other stakeholders; and (4) understanding and applying AADF is related to various factors, including factors regarding the framework per se (e.g., tutorial, examples, concepts, and terms), personal experience, resources (e.g., time), tool support, and project context (e.g., project size and number of AAs). Adjusting these factors in an appropriate way can facilitate the usage of AADF and further benefit the projects.

Architectural assumption

Case study

Software architecture

Documentation framework


Chen Yang

Wuhan University

University of Groningen

Peng Liang

Wuhan University

Paris Avgeriou

University of Groningen

Ulf Eliasson

Volvo Cars

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers)

Rogardt Heldal

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Patrizio Pelliccione

University of Gothenburg

Tingting Bi

Wuhan University

Journal of Systems and Software

0164-1212 (ISSN)

Vol. 134 190-210

Subject Categories

Computer and Information Science



More information

Latest update