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Architecting = Decision Making
Hans van Vliet, VU University Amsterdam
In the past decade, the accepted definition of software architecture has shifted from components -plus-connectors (the solution) to the underlying set of design decisions (the why of the solution). To better understand the field of software architecture, it then becomes natural to study how architects make decisions. Do experienced architects make better decisions than novice architects? Can the architecting process be rational, or is it affected by the same irrationalities one sees in everyday decision making? Can we discover when design decisions are biased? If so, how and when. In this talk, I will sketch the evolution of our thinking of what constitutes software architecture, and the kind of research questions that arise if we view architecting as decision making.
Hans van Vliet is Professor in Software Engineering at the VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, since 1986. He got his PhD from the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include software architecture, knowledge management in software development, global software development, and empirical software engineering. Before joining the VU University, he worked as a researcher at the Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI, Amsterdam). He spent a year as a visiting researcher at the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California. He is the author of “Software Engineering: Principles and Practice", published by Wiley (3rd Edition, 2008). He is a member of IFIP Working Group 2.10 on software architecture, and the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Systems and Software.