Quantitative Measurement of Quality Attribute Preferences Using Conjoint Analysis
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Conjoint analysis has received considerable attention as a technique for measuring customer preferences through utility tradeoffs among products and services. This paper shows how the method can be applied to the area of software architecture to analyze architectural tradeoffs among quality attributes. By eliciting customer utilities through conjoint analysis, software engineers can identify and focus on the useful quality attributes, which will increase the chance of delivering satisfactory software products to the customers. This paper proposes a quantitative method of measuring quality attribute preferences using conjoint analysis and demonstrates its efficacy by applying it to the Project Management Center (PMCenter) project. The proposed method is complementary to the Architecture Trade-off Analysis Method (ATAM) in that ATAM relies on customer’s feedback to elicit important quality attributes, whereas this method can be used to actually measure the utilities of quality attributes in a quantitative manner. Furthermore, our method provides a new framework for choosing architecture styles and design patterns based on customer’s preferences of quality attributes.
KeywordsQuality Attribute Design Pattern Software Architecture Conjoint Analysis Customer Preference
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