The Supportive Effect of Traceability Links in Change Impact Analysis for Evolving Architectures – Two Controlled Experiments

  • Muhammad Atif Javed
  • Uwe Zdun
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8919)


The documentation of software architecture relations as a kind of traceability information is considered important to help people understand the consequences or ripple-effects of architecture evolution. Traceability information provides a basis for analysing and evaluating software evolution, and consequently, it can be used for tasks like reuse evaluation and improvement throughout the evolution of software. To date, however, none of the published empirical studies on software architecture traceability have examined the validity of these propositions. In this paper, we hypothesize that impact analysis of changes in software architecture can be more efficient when supported by traceability links. To test this hypothesis, we designed two controlled experiments that were conducted to investigate the influence of traceability links on the quantity and quality of retrieved assets during architecture evolution analysis. The results provide statistical evidence that a focus on architecture traceability significantly reduces the quantity of missing and incorrect assets, and increases the overall quality of architecture impact analysis for evolution.


Software architecture traceability Architecture evolution Change impact analysis Empirical software engineering Controlled experiment 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Atif Javed
    • 1
  • Uwe Zdun
    • 1
  1. 1.Software Architecture Research GroupUniversity of ViennaAustria

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