COMP SCI 7000 - Software Architecture

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2021

The following are the main topics to be covered in this course: Introduction to the fundamentals of software architecture. Software architecture and quality requirements of a software system. Fundamental principles and guidelines for software architecture design, architectural styles, patterns and frameworks. Methods, techniques and tools for describing software architecture and documenting design rationale. Software architecture design and evaluation processes. Rationale and architectural knowledge management in software architecting. Approaches and tools for designing and evaluating software architectures for the state of the art technologies such as cloud-computing and service-operation and mobile computing. Future challenges and emerging trends in software architecture discipline.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMP SCI 7000
    Course Software Architecture
    Coordinating Unit Computer Science
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment Written exam and/or assignments
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Ali Babar

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    1.     Argue the importance and role of software architecture in large-scale software systems.

    2.     Design and motivate software architecture for large-scale software systems.

    3.     Recognise major software architectural styles, design patterns, and frameworks.

    4.     Describe a software architecture using various documentation approaches and architectural description languages.

    5.     Generate architectural alternatives for a problem and selection among them.

    6.     Use well-understood paradigms for designing new systems.

    7.     Identify and assess the quality attributes of a system at the architectural level.

    8.     Motivate the architectural concerns for designing and evaluating a system's architecture.

    9.     Discuss and evaluate the current trends and technologies such as model-driven and service-oriented architectures.

    10.  Evaluate the coming attractions in software architecture research and practice.
    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    The students will be expected to work with the course curriculum based on the following books:

    Gorton, I., Essential Software Architecture, 2nd edition (2011), Springer.
    Vogel, O., Arnold, I., Chughtai, A., Kehrer, T., Software Architecture: A Comprehensive Framework and Guide for    Practitioners, 3rd edition (2011), Springer.

    Research articles included in the course syllabus (Assessable material) for critically reviews and presentations.

    1. Chen, L., Babar, M.A. and Nuseibeh B., Characterizing architecturally significant requirements. IEEE Software 30(2): 38-45, 2012.
    2. Tang, A., Han, J., and Vasa, R. Software architecture design reasoning: a case for improved methodology support, IEEE Software 26(2): 43-49, 2009.
    3. M. Stal, Using Architectural Patterns and Blueprints for Service-Oriented Architecture, IEEE Software 23(2): 54-61, 2006.
    4. Tran, N. K. and Ali Babar, M., Anatomy, concept, and design space of blockchain networks, the International Conference of Software Architecture (ICSA), 2020.
    5. Ryoo, J., Kazman, R. and Anand, P., Architectural analysis for security. IEEE Security & Privacy, 13(6): 52-59, 2015
    6. Dhillon, D., Developer-driven threat modeling: Lessons learned in the trenches. IEEE Security & Privacy 9(4): 41-47, 2011.
    7. Islam, C., Ali Babar, M., Nepal, S., Architecture-Centric Support for Integrating Security Tool in a Security Orchestration Platform, the European Conference on Software Architecture (ECSA), 2020.

    Recommended Resources
    Some material for the course will also be drawn from other complementary books such as the followings; if relevant material used from these books, you would be given photocopies of the material. You are NOT required to buy any of these books for this course:
    • Bass, L., Clements, P. and Kazman, R., Software Architecture in Practice, 2013, Addison-Wesley.
    • Taylor, R., Medvidovic, N., Dashofy, E., Software Architecture: Foundations, Theory, and Practice, 2010, Wiley. 
    • Newman, S., Building Micro Services: Designing Fine-Grained Systems, 2015, O’Reilly.
    • Clements, P., Bachmann, F., Bass, L., Garlan, D., Ivers, j., Little, R., Nord, R. and Stafford, J., Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond, 2002, Addison-Wesley.
    • Clements, P., Kazman, R. and Klein, M., Evaluating Software Architectures: Methods and Case Studies, 2002, Addison-Wesley.
    • Buschmann, F., Meunier, R., Rohnert, H., Sommerlad, P., Stal, M., Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture: A System of Patterns, 1996, Wiley.
    Online Learning
    This course will use Canvas, which is available from the following link:

    We may also use GitHub and Slack for discussions, groupwork, collaboration, communication and coordination within each team and across the teams in the class.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Course duration and Learning and Teaching activities:

    12 weeks consisting of different types of learning and teaching activities such as seminar style lectures, moderated discussions on the core topics with relevant industrial examples, guest lectures, students’ presentations, peer evaluation, and project work.

    Note: The lecturing time will be utilized for learning and teaching activities using flipped classroom and seminar styles. The students are expected to prepare the material to be discussed before the face-to-face meeting of the whole class and actively participate in the discussions and learning activities designed to achieve the learning objectives of the course.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The students are expected to spend 10-12 hours per week on this course. There will be 2 hours contact time for learning and teaching activities and the students will be working in groups and individually 8-10 hours to carry out the required learning and teaching activities for acquiring the expected knowledge, understanding, and skills in this course.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The following are the main topics to be covered in this course:

    • Introduction to the fundamentals of software architecture.
    • Software architecture and quality requirements of a software system.
    • Fundamental principles and guidelines for software architecture design, architectural styles, patterns, and frameworks.
    • Methods, techniques, and tools for describing software architecture and documenting design rationale.
    • Software architecture design and evaluation processes.
    • Rationale and architectural knowledge management in software architecting.
    • Approaches and tools for designing and evaluating software architectures for the state-of- the-art technologies such as blockchain, service-orientation and micro serivce architecture.
    • Future challenges and emerging trends in software architecture discipline.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    • Reviewing and presenting assigned article (15%) – Group presentation, Individual Assessment – An article will be assigned to a group of students for reviewing and presenting. Each member of a group will critically review the article and write one page summary of his/her understanding of the article (7.5%). Each group will make a presentation (7.5%) on the assigned article by recording the presentation and making that available via an agreed platform; each of the members in the group is expected to actively participate in the presentation and Q&A as the assessment is individual. Each member of the team will be assessed based on the performance in the presentation and Q&A. The preparation of the article summary and the presentation must incorporate learning from at least one more related article per member of the team and each member must identify which other article he/she would have read to support the review of the assigned article and prepare the presentation. For example, if there are three members in a team, then three other related articles needs to be searched and read to make the summary and presentation for the assigned article.
    • Quizzes (15%) – Individual assessment – The quizzes will be based on the material to be discussed in the class. That means the students are expected to come to class after preparing the material that is going to be discussed in the class. The material will be provided to the students one week before the quiz class. There will three quizzes without any prior announcement about the day of the quiz (i.e., surprise quizzes).
    • Exercises (20%) – Individual assessment – There will be take home (or in class) exercises based on the material discussed in the class or other relevant material/tasks assigned by the teaching staff.
    • Software Design and Evaluation Project (50%) – (Group 30% and individual 20% assessments) – This assessment will be a multi-phase activities in which the students will be designing and documenting an architecture of a given software system, evaluating the architecture of the designed system of another team, and improving the design based on the evaluation recommendations and own critique and reflections. The grading will be done at the team and individual levels in order to enable the students to demonstrate that their can successfully carry out group activities required for designing and evaluating software architecture of a significant system but also have acquired the understanding, knowledge, and skills expected to be gained after completing different phases of the project.
    Hurdle Requirement: If your overall mark for the course is greater than 44 F but, your mark for the software requirements project is less than 40%, your overall mark for the course will be reduced to 44 F.
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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