Architecture design decision maps for software sustainability

Patricia Lago*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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In software engineering, sustainability can be defined as the 'capacity to endure' and to 'preserve the function of a system over an extended period of time'. These definitions mainly point towards technical sustainability over time. Sustainability, however, may entail a much broader scope including economic, social and environmental sustainability as well. In spite of the exciting hype around sustainability, we are very much lacking suitable instruments to design software-intensive systems that are sustainable and enable sustainability goals. To fill this gap, we advocate the treatment of sustainability as a software quality property and define a software sustainability assessment method that helps make sustainability-driven design decisions. The method essentially relies on the definition of so-called 'decision maps', i.e. views aimed at framing the architecture design concerns around the four sustainability dimensions mentioned above-technical, economic, social and environmental sustainability. This paper presents the notion of decision map. We use two illustrative examples extracted from industrial projects, to summarize our lessons learned and reflections.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE/ACM 41st International Conference on Software Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationSoftware Engineering in Society, ICSE-SEIS 2019 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781728117621
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event41st IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Society, ICSE-SEIS 2019 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 25 May 201931 May 2019


Conference41st IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering: Software Engineering in Society, ICSE-SEIS 2019


  • Architecture assessment
  • Architecture design decisions
  • Decision map
  • Software architecture
  • Sustainability

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