SoftArch/MTE: Generating distributed system test-beds from high-level software architecture descriptions

John Grundy, Yuhong Cai, Anna Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Most distributed system specifications have performance benchmark requirements, for example the number of particular kinds of transactions per second required to be supported by the system. However, determining the likely eventual performance of complex distributed system architectures during their development is very challenging. We describe SoftArch/MTE. a software tool that allows software architects to sketch an outline of their proposed system architecture at a high level of abstraction. These descriptions include client requests, servers, server objects and object services, database servers and tables, and particular choices of middleware and database technologies. A fully-working implementation of this system is then automatically generated from this high-level architectural description. This implementation is deployed on multiple client and server machines and performance tests are then automatically run for this generated code. Performance test results are recorded, sent back to the SoftArch/MTE environment and are then displayed to the architect using graphs or by annotating the original high-level architectural diagrams. Architects may change performance parameters and architecture characteristics, comparing multiple test run results to determine the most suitable abstractions to refine to detailed designs for actual system implementation. Further tests may be run on refined architecture descriptions at any stage during system development. We demonstrate the utility of our approach and prototype tool and the accuracy of our generated performance test-beds, for validating architectural choices during early system development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-39
Number of pages35
JournalAutomated Software Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • CASE tools
  • Performance engineering
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Software architecture evaluation
  • Test-bed generation

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