A review and future directions of SOA-based software architecture modeling approaches for System of Systems
Service Oriented Computing and Applications
Special Issue Paper
School of Science
Software architecture is a software system’s earliest set of design decisions that are critical for the quality of the system desired by the stakeholders. The architecture makes it easier to reason about and manage change during different phases of complex software life cycle. The modeling of software architecture for System of Systems (SoS) is a challenging task because of a system’s complexity arising from an integration of heterogeneous, distributed, managerially and operationally independent systems collaborating to achieve global missions. SoS is essentially dynamic and evolutionary by design requiring suitable architectural patterns to deal with runtime volatility. Service-oriented architecture offers several architectural features to these complex systems; these include, interoperability, loose coupling, abstraction and the provision of dynamic services based on standard interfaces and protocols. There is some research work available that provides critical analysis of current software architecture modeling approaches for SoS. However, none of them outlines the important characteristics of SoS or provides detailed analysis of current service-oriented architecture modeling approaches to model those characteristics. This article addresses this research gap and provides a taxonomy of software architecture modeling approaches, comparing and contrasting them using criteria critical for realization of SoS. Additionally, research gaps are identified, and future directions are outlined for building software architecture for SoS to model and reason about architecture quality in a more efficient way in service-oriented paradigm.