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Smart Decisions: An Architecture Design Game

April 2015 Presentation
Serhiy Haziyev (SoftServe, Inc.), Olha Hrytsay (SoftServe, Inc.), Rick Kazman (University of Hawaii), Humberto Cervantes (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana–Iztapalapa)

This presentation teaches the challenging process of designing an architecture for a Big Data Analytics System using a game called Smart Decisions.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

Abstract

In this participatory session, you'll have fun and learn about the challenging process of designing an architecture for a Big Data Analytics System by playing a game called Smart Decisions, which simulates the architecture design process through a series of iterations. The game can be played individually or as a group of architects, and the players compete against each other in a simulated architecture design activity for a complex Big Data Analytics System. In each iteration, the players must solve a challenge associated with an iteration goal and a set of architectural drivers including quality attributes and constraints. Solving this challenge requires making design decisions that, in the game, are the selection of one or more design concepts such as tactics, patterns, or externally developed components such as frameworks. Players are scored according to the choices they make, and the player who completes the challenge and gets the highest score wins.

The game is followed by a discussion with the participants in which we review several principles illustrated in the game, including these points:

  • Architecture design can be performed systematically in an iterative way.
  • Each iteration has a goal and a set of associated drivers or concerns.
  • Quality attributes can have different meanings.
  • There exist different types of design concepts and a wide variety of each type.
  • Selection of design concepts needs to be made by taking into account several aspects including the iteration goal, concerns, drivers, and prior decisions.