Software evolution and software evolution processes

Lehman, Meir M. and Ramil, Juan F. (2002). Software evolution and software evolution processes. Annals of Software Engineering, 14(1-4) pp. 275–309.



Most of the software in regular use in businesses and organisations all over the world cannot be completely specified. It cannot be implemented, once and for all. Both the original implementation and the inevitable subsequent evolution (maintenance) are a continual learning experience driven, inter alia, by feedback from the results of the behaviour under execution of the software, as perceived by various stakeholders, by advances and growth in the user organisations and by adaptation to changes in the external world, both independent and as a result of installation and use of the software. Real world, termed type-E, software is essentially evolutionary in nature. The study of the processes of evolution of such software is of considerable interest, as is that of the domains that co-evolve with the software. After briefly discussing the meaning of the term evolution in the context of software, its technology, the software process and related domains, this paper describes some of the facets of the evolution phenomenon and implications to the evolution process as identified during many years of active interest in the topic.

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