Architecture-driven Problem Decomposition

Rapanotti, Lucia; Hall, Jon G.; Jackson, Michael and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2003). Architecture-driven Problem Decomposition. Technical Report 2003/08; Department of Computing, The Open University.



Jackson's Problem Frames provide a means of analysing and decomposing problems. They emphasise the world outside of the computer helping the developer to focus on the problem domain instead of drifting into inventing solutions. The intention is to delay consideration of the solution space until a good understanding of the problem is gained. In contrast, early consideration of a solution architecture is common practice in software development. Software is usually developed by including existing components and/or reusing existing frameworks and architectures. This has the advantage of shortening development time though reuse, and increasing the robustness of a system through the application of tried and tested solutions. In this paper, we show how these two views can be reconciled and demonstrate how a choice of architecture can facilitate problem analysis and decomposition within the Problem Frames framework. In particular, we introduce Architectural Frames-combinations of architectural styles and Problem Frames-and illustrate their use in problem decomposition by applying them to a well-known problem from the literature.

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