TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


Applying Genetic Algorithms for Software Design and Project Planning



KustantajaTampere University of Technology
ISBN (elektroninen)978-952-15-3878-0
ISBN (painettu)978-952-15-3856-8
TilaJulkaistu - 2 joulukuuta 2016
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


NimiTampere University of Technology. Publication
ISSN (painettu)1459-2045


Today's software systems are growing in size and complexity. This means not only increased complexity in developing software systems, but also increase in the budget and completion time. This trend will lead to a situation where traditional manual software engineering practices are not sufficient to develop and evolve software systems in an economic and timely manner. Automated support can aid software engineers in reducing the time-to-market and improving the quality of the software. This thesis work explores the application of genetic algorithms for automated software architecture design and project planning.

Software architecture design and project planning are non-trivial and challenging tasks. This thesis applies genetic algorithms to introduce automation into these tasks. The proposed genetic algorithm exploits reusable solutions, such as design patterns, architecture styles and application specific solutions for transforming a given initial rudimentary model into detailed design. The architectures are evaluated using multiple quality attributes, such as modifiability, efficiency and complexity. The fitness function encompasses the knowledge required for evaluating the architectures according to multiple quality attributes. The output from the genetic algorithm is an architecture proposal optimized with respect to multiple quality attributes.

A genetic algorithm has also been devised for assigning work across teams located in distributed sites. The genetic algorithm takes information about the target system and the development organization as input and produces a set of work distribution and schedule plans optimized with respect to cost and duration objectives. The fitness function considers the differences in teams and barriers created by global dispersion into account in evaluating the work assignment. In addition, the genetic algorithm also takes solutions that ease or hamper distributed development into account in allocating the work. The genetic algorithm has been further extended with Pareto optimality to find a set of suitable work distribution proposals in a tradeoff between project cost and duration. In the experiments, an electronic home control system was developed by a set of different organizations structures. The results demonstrate that the proposed genetic algorithm can create reasonable work distribution proposals that conform to the general assumptions about the nature of cost and project completion time, i.e., cost of the project can be reduced at the expense of project completion time and vice-versa.

In addition, variations have been made to the genetic algorithm approach to software architecture design. To accelerate the genetic algorithm towards multi-objective solutions, a quality farms approach has been developed. The approach uses the idea of cross breeding, where different individuals that are good with respect to one quality objective are combined for producing software architecture proposals that are good in multiple objectives. Also, to explore the suitability of other methods for software architecture synthesis, a constraint satisfaction approach has been developed. The approach models the software architecture design problem as a constraint satisfaction and optimization problem and solves it using constraint satisfaction techniques. This approach can provide rationale about why certain decisions are chosen in the proposed architecture proposals.

Tool support for genetic algorithm-based architecture design and work planning approaches has been proposed. It facilitates an end user to give input, view and analyze the results of the developed genetic algorithm based approaches. The tool also provides support for semi-automated architecture design, where a human architect can guide the genetic algorithm towards optimal solutions. An empirical study has also been performed. It suggests that the quality of the proposals produced through semiautomated architecture design is roughly at the level of senior software engineering students. Furthermore, the project manager can interact with the tool and perform whatif analysis for choosing the suitable work distribution for the project at hand.

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