Keywords: architecture assessment, assessment methodology, enterprise architecture, network-centric architecture, network-centric software, open architecture, software architecture, military systems, network-centric operations, warfare, NCMS, complex systems
Network-centric military system architecture assessment methodology
Recent paradigm shift from considering software as a product to treating software as a service has produced capabilities for engineering complex Network-Centric Military Systems (NCMSs). As the industry works on building a cyber-infrastructure and the Department of Defence moves towards network-centric operations and warfare, military systems are becoming increasingly more network-centric. Assessment of the architecture of such a NCMS is a very complex process, involves the measurement and evaluation of hundreds of qualitative and quantitative elements, mandates subject matter expert evaluation, and requires the integration of disparate evaluations obtained by experimentation, demonstration, trial, testing, direct measurement, analysis and examination. Planning and managing such measurements and evaluations require a unifying methodology and should not be performed in an ad hoc manner. This paper presents such a methodology named Military System Architecture Assessment Methodology (MSAAM). MSAAM advocates mission-oriented risk-driven architecture assessment based on four assessment perspectives: product, process, people and project. It enables the decomposition of architecture assessment into small pieces corresponding to leaf indicators and provides a structured framework for overcoming the complexity of architecture assessment.