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This is one of my assignment for this semester. And just to be clear, this question is not about the answer to my assignment as I have already finished it, it is more about the sanity of the question

I am confused because as I know from the textbook, ATAM is a software architecture evaluation process which has multiple phases and steps.

On the other hand, "analysis tools" provided by ADLs is just a sub-set of the evaluation process. Moreover, each ADL provides different set of tools for analyzing the architecture. I think that comparing between the two concepts is somehow weird and just confusing.

I mean it is like comparing the whole computer and the graphics card itself. They have some relationships but they are not in the same scale. The graphics card is meant to be used by the computer to process graphical stuff. Each graphics card has its own characteristics and functionalities, some are better than others. Without the graphics card, the computer can still run, but without the computer the graphics card is nothing.

In short, my question is "Is it possible to do that kind of comparison?"
(comparing the ATAM method and ADLs)

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    What exactly is your question? – World Engineer Dec 8 '13 at 2:39
  • Is it possible to do that kind of comparison? – Tan Nguyen Dec 8 '13 at 9:53
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Comparing the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method and analysis tools provided by Architecture Description Languages is possible:

Both are intended to help assess the quality of a software architecture.

ATAM is a method/process to evaluate a software architecture and an ADL is a standard notation that is used to represent a software architecture.

As you point out, it is possible to use an ADL as part of a software architecture evaluation process, like outlined by ATAM.

An ADL could also be used as a process for assessing software architecture in itself:

  • Having to explicitly code the various relationships, attributes, and other properties of a software architecture, one may find inconsistencies and problems in the software architecture where they were not visible or thought of, for instance because they were hidden in between various architectural views.
  • A software architecture described in an ADL van be automaticaly analysed for completeness, consistency, ambiguity, and performance.

Using an ADL may be a better way to assess the performance of a software architecture than ATAM, where the focus (in my limited experience) is usually structure and consistency.

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