How the Architecture decision methods deal with Group Decision Making

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Are architecture decision making techniques taking into explicit account Group Decision Making requirements?
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This presentation has been given to ECSA 2014, the 8th European Conference on Software Architecture

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  • Very interesting presentation, we are currently involved in a similar project (supersede.eu). One of our components is about decision making: DMGame is a open source implementation of a decision making tool for requirements evolution. It contains innovative algorithms for requirements prioritization that are able to produce alternative solution to the priority problem. The component considers a gamified approach to involve the different stakeholder in the evolution process.
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How the Architecture decision methods deal with Group Decision Making

  1. 1. Università degli Studi dell’Aquila Suitability of Software Architecture Decision Making Methods for Group Decisions Smrithi Rekha V. Amrita Vishwa, Vidyapeetham, India smrithirekha@gmail.com Henry Muccini, Ph.D. University of L’Aquila, Italy henry.muccini@univaq.it @muccinihenry, henrymuccini.com Presented @ ECSA 2014, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2. 2 Multiple stakeholders are involved Each with different concerns and goals Decision Making Tech. Stakeh olders Custo mers … … Busin ess Final User Archite cts 42010:2011 Architecting = group decision-making process
  3. 3. 3 Three decades of research on group decision making in the business domain GDM Research Perspectives Processes and Methods Impact of factors like size, diversity, roles, tasks Challenges Comparative Studies: Various methods, Individual vs Group Issues: Groupthink, Group Shift Conflict Resolution Process Enhancement Pros and Cons GDM has been studied from multiple perspectives that includes Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Operations Research and Economics
  4. 4. 4 how ◄practitioners► make group decisions in architecting software systems how ◄state-of-the-practice► GDM in SA relates to ◄state- of-the-art► GDM techniques ◄challenges►companies face when making architecture- related group decisions RQ1 RQ2 RQ3 how alternatives are evaluated GDM methods used in practice Issues experienced in GDM Challenges GDML tool usage how practitioners arrive at a consensus drivers and decision patterns
  5. 5. 5 how ◄practitioners► make group decisions in architecting software systems how ◄state of the practice► GDM in SA relates to ◄state- of-the-art► GDM techniques ◄challenges►companies face when making architecture- related group decisions RQ1 RQ2 RQ3 how alternatives are evaluated GDM methods used in practice how practitioners arrive at a consensus drivers and decision patterns Issues experienced in GDM Challenges GDML tool usage
  6. 6. We analyze if and how existing Architecture Design Decision (ADD) method support Group Decision Making (GDM) RQ1) how to evaluate the architecture design decision methods’ suitability for group decision making? RQ2) how adequate existing architecture design decision methods are for group decision making? 6
  7. 7.  > 85% of the decisions made by software architects are made by groups [1], [3]  To understand how and if current ADD explicitly manage GDM factors that may impact the decision making process  to facilitate a more democratic and robust method of SA decision-making where preferences, priorities, objectives etc., are included to make optimal decisions 7
  8. 8. 8 Define an Evaluation Framework Select ADD methods Apply the framework to the ADD methods 1 2 3
  9. 9. RQ1) how to evaluate the architecture design decision methods’ suitability for group decision making? 9
  10. 10. 10 General Group Problem-Solving (GGPS), 1993 [6] (generic model of GDM) impacts impacts impacts
  11. 11. 11 Thomas L. Saaty and Luis G. Vargas, 2006 [5]
  12. 12. 12 Problem Identification Development of alternatives Preference Indication Prioritizing Group Members Provision for conflict resolution Group Decision Rules Information Exchange and Recall Revisiting Information
  13. 13. [10] Falessi, et al. Decision-making techniques for software architecture design: A comparative survey. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR) 43(4) (2011) [16] Tofan, et al. Past and future of software architectural decisions a systematic mapping study. IST 56(8) (2014) 13 Only decision-making (DM) processes/methods Decision methods covering broad aspects of DM Coverage of different SA DM Dealing with conflicting multiple objectives We included Output: 22 DM processes/method [17-38]
  14. 14. 14 Problem Identification Development of alternatives Preference Indication Prioritizing Group Members Provision for conflict resolution Group Decision Rules Information Exchange and Recall Revisiting Information Few methods present an explicit problem identification step. At best, the process starts with identification of alternatives A good problem identification step -> better problem space analysis -> high quality GDM practice [5]
  15. 15. 15 Problem Identification Development of alternatives Preference Indication Prioritizing Group Members Provision for conflict resolution Group Decision Rules Information Exchange and Recall Revisiting Information Very few methods allow for a group to discuss and evolve alternatives. Multi-criteria decision-making methods must allow for the generation and filtering of alternatives through a process of discussion and deliberation which ensures more participation of group members [5].
  16. 16. 16 Problem Identification Development of alternatives Preference Indication Prioritizing Group Members Provision for conflict resolution Group Decision Rules Information Exchange and Recall Revisiting Information The selected methods allow for preference indication but it is mostly individuals who rank the alternatives. They do not seem to allow multiple stakeholders to indicate preferences.
  17. 17. 17 Problem Identification Development of alternatives Preference Indication Prioritizing Group Members Provision for conflict resolution Group Decision Rules Information Exchange and Recall Revisiting Information (almost) none of the methods account for hierarchy or expertise differences among stakeholders.
  18. 18. 18 Problem Identification Development of alternatives Preference Indication Prioritizing Group Members Provision for conflict resolution Group Decision Rules Information Exchange and Recall Revisiting Information no method accounts for conflict management strategies. The sources of conflict, levels of conflict and appropriate conflict resolution styles could be applied to the SA decision-making methods. Collaborative style of conflict resolution is the most popular [1], so, it shall be supported
  19. 19. 19 Problem Identification Development of alternatives Preference Indication Prioritizing Group Members Provision for conflict resolution Group Decision Rules Information Exchange and Recall Revisiting Information Very few allow for multiple stakeholder preference and hence they alone discuss decision-rules. (The more rigorous and scientific the decision-rule is, the better the quality of decisions made [5], [14])
  20. 20. 20 Problem Identification Development of alternatives Preference Indication Prioritizing Group Members Provision for conflict resolution Group Decision Rules Information Exchange and Recall Revisiting Information Two of the chosen methods seem to indicate the presence of visual representation of information. (Information recall has been found to be key in making the knowledge pool more rich)
  21. 21. 21 Problem Identification Development of alternatives Preference Indication Prioritizing Group Members Provision for conflict resolution Group Decision Rules Information Exchange and Recall Revisiting Information Only two methods are iterative in nature. The more number of times the group is able to exchange information, uncover unshared information and revisit the alternatives, the higher the quality of decisions.
  22. 22.  Lack of support in current architecture design decisions methods of GDM  Why:  current methods may inherit and expand over state-of-the art work (e.g., QOC) that where mostly focusing on capturing concerns, alternatives, and criteria.  need to first carefully understand how the ADD process works for individuals 22
  23. 23. Extend the study to ADD tools as well Enhance one (or more) ADD methods to meet GDM requirements Empirical studies to evaluate whether those enhancements are effective 23
  24. 24. 24 [10] Falessi, D., Cantone, G., Kazman, R., Kruchten, P.: Decision-making techniques for software architecture design: A comparative survey. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR) 43(4) (2011) [16] Tofan, D., Galster, M., Avgeriou, P., Schuitema,W.: Past and future of software architectural decisions a systematic mapping study. IST 56(8) (2014) For selecting ADD methods [39] Tang, A., Avgeriou, P., Jansen, A., Capilla, R., Ali Babar, M. A comparative study of architecture knowledge management tools. JSS 83(3) (2010) AK tools comparison [2] Miesbauer, C.,Weinreich, R.: Classification of design decisions an expert survey in practice. In Drira, K., ed.: Software Architecture. Volume 7957 of LNCS. Springer Berlin Heidelberg (2013) [3] Tofan, D., Galster, M., Avgeriou, P.: Difficulty of architectural decisions a survey with professional architects. In Drira, K., ed.: Software Architecture. Volume 7957 of LNCS. Springer Berlin Heidelberg (2013) Surveys on ADD
  25. 25. If you are interested to this research, please 25 Stop by after the presentation Contact me at henry.muccini@univaq.it Tweet @muccinihenry Skype me at henry.muccini Call me  Suitability of Software Architecture Decision Making Methods for Group Decisions @ ECSA2014

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