View MODAF:Architectural Description

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Version & Date

Version 1.2.004.

See MODAF Release History.

Definition

Part of the MODAF All Views Viewpoint.

From the MODAF Metamodel (M3):

A specification of a system of systems at a technical level which also provides the business context for the system of systems.

IEEE1471 describes an architectural description as a collection of products to document the architecture of a system. This is something of a circular definition (as product in this sense is an architectural product), and also assumes a technical system, whereas architectures complying with this meta-model describe an enterprise - i.e. the system of systems and the human processes they support.

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Comments

  • The comment made against ISO 42010 isn’t valid. ISO/IEC 42010 does not assume a technical system - the principles and rules apply to any type of system. The MODAF definition of System only applies to technical systems and therefore cannot be applied to the enterprise. The definition of architecture description in ISO/IEC 42010 is also different since an architecture view is a product of an architecture viewpoint whereas in MODAF it is a specification for an architecture view (architecture viewpoint in ISO/IEC 42010 terms).
  • Usual confusion between architecture (the real world thing) and architecture description - architectures complying with this metamodel describe - architectures don’t comply with MODAF. MODAF architecture descriptions, however, do.
  • MODAF 1.2.004 is non-compliant with ISO/IEC 42010.
  • An architecture description is not always normative - how many examples are there of MoD systems built against a MODAF architecture description? Virtually none since it will be the URD and SRD (requirement documents) that are contractual. An architecture description may simply be descriptive. The definition above shouldn’t therefore embed the application of the architecture description. ADs are probably more often used to describe than specify and obviously cannot be specifications if they are produced after the fact i.e. describing something that exists. If not all MODAF ADs are specifications the definition is wrong.

System of Systems is used incorrectly here since from a classification (i.e a stereotype) aspect it is still of class or stereotype = System and therefore the notion that System referred to in ISO/IEC 42010 cannot represent an Enterprise but System of Systems can is wrong since a System of Systems is still a System - A System of Systems is an arrangement in the same way that Subsystem is - NOT a type or classification.. System can be substituted with no loss of meaning or accuracy. It is pretty clear therefore that System of Systems is used for marketing advantage and not technical or semantic accuracy.

This is a strange criticism of the ISO since MODAF itself defines System as an artefact and part of the physical architecture.

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Category:Metamodel -> Stereotype
Category:Defence
Category:MODAF -> Viewpoint -> All Views

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