Architectural Assumptions and Their Management in Industry – An Exploratory Study

  • Chen Yang
  • Peng Liang
  • Paris Avgeriou
  • Ulf Eliasson
  • Rogardt Heldal
  • Patrizio Pelliccione
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10475)


As an important type of architectural knowledge, architectural assumptions should be well managed in projects. However, little empirical research has been conducted regarding architectural assumptions and their management in software development. In this paper, we conducted an exploratory case study with twenty-four architects to analyze architectural assumptions and their management in industry. In this study, we confirmed certain findings from our previous survey on architectural assumptions (e.g., neither the term nor the concept of architectural assumption is commonly used in industry, and stakeholders may have different understandings of the architectural assumption concept). We also got five new findings: (1) architects frequently make architectural assumptions in their work; (2) the architectural assumption concept is subjective; (3) architectural assumptions are context-dependent and have a dynamic nature (e.g., turning out to be invalid or vice versa during their lifecycle); (4) there is a connection between architectural assumptions and certain types of software artifacts (e.g., requirements and design decisions); (5) twelve architectural assumptions management activities and four benefits of managing architectural assumptions were identified.


Architectural assumption Architectural assumptions management Case study 



This work is partially sponsored by the NSFC under Grant No. 61472286 and the Ubbo Emmius scholarship program by the University of Groningen. This work is also partially supported by the Vinnova FFI projects Next Generation Electronic Architecture and Next Generation Electronic Architecture step 2. We would like to thank the participants of the case study, and the architects who participated in the pilot study.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chen Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peng Liang
    • 1
  • Paris Avgeriou
    • 2
  • Ulf Eliasson
    • 3
    • 4
  • Rogardt Heldal
    • 4
  • Patrizio Pelliccione
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Lab of Software Engineering, School of Computer ScienceWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and Computing ScienceUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Volvo CarsGothenburgSweden
  4. 4.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringChalmers University of Technology and University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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