The socio-economics of software architecture

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The paper argues that strategic decisions about software architectures need to be based on a social and economic analysis of which designs are likely to succeed and become accepted by users. Software architecture is increasingly having to take account of customisation, reuse, end-user development and system configuration. The relationship between architecture and end users' requirements is investigated, to propose a cost-benefit framework to support reasoning about architectural choices from the perspective of end users. The relationships between architectural decisions and non-functional requirements is reviewed, and the impact on architecture is assessed using a case study of developing configurable, semi-intelligent software to support medical researchers in e-science domains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-363
Number of pages20
JournalAutomated Software Engineering
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Architecture
  • Cost-benefit analysis
  • End-user development
  • Requirements


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