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Active Reviews for Intermediate Designs (ARID) in Software Architectures
  • Last Updated : 23 Dec, 2020

Active Reviews for Intermediate Designs (ARID) :
Both Active Design Reviews and ATAM are used to evaluate preliminary designs. In the active design review, stakeholders receive detailed documentation and then complete exercise questionnaires on their own. ATAM is used to evaluate whole architecture and not a portion of it.

Both ATAM and ADR’s have strong qualities for evaluating software architectures and designs, but still, something was needed which could provide an early insight into design strategies. Thus, ARID was born by combining stakeholder-centric, scenario-based, architecture evaluation method like ATAM and an ARD of design specifications.

ARID is an easy, lightweight evaluation approach that is made by combining ADR’s and evaluation strategies like ATAM, which focuses on suitability and does not require complete architectural documentation.

ARID Participants :
The main participants in ARID process are ARID review team (facilitator, scribe, and questioners), software architect/lead designer, and reviewers.

  1. ARID review team : It consists of three roles :
    • Facilitator –
      The facilitator works with the software architect to prepare for the review meeting and facilitates it when it takes place.
    • Scribe –
      The scribe captures the issues and results in the review meeting.
    • Questioners –
      One or more questioners raise issues, ask questions, and assist with creating scenarios during the review meeting.
  2. Software architect/Lead designer :
    The software architect(or designer) is the spokesperson for design and is responsible for preparing and presenting the design as well as participating in it.



  3. The reviewers :
    The reviewers are drawn from the community of stakeholders of the design, people who have an interest in its adequacy and usability, and the software engineers who are expected to use the design.

    ARID Steps :
    An ARID process progresses across two phases that comprise of nine steps :

    ARID Steps

    Phase-1 of ARID is carried out as a meeting between the lead designer and the review facilitator.

    • Step-1 : Identify Reviewers –
      The lead designer and facilitator work together to identify the set of people who should be present at the review.
    • Step-2 : Prepare the design presentation –
      Designer prepares a brief explanation of design. Goal of this step is to present design in sufficient detail so that a knowledgeable audience could use design. Here, during Phase One, the designer gives a dry run of presentation to review facilitator.
    • Step-3 : Prepare seed scenarios –
      Designer and review facilitator prepare a set of seed scenarios. Like seed scenarios in ATAM, these are designed to illustrate concept of a scenario to reviewers, who have opportunity to see a sample set.
    • Step-4 : Prepare for the review meeting –
      Copies of presentation, seed scenarios, and review agenda are produced for distribution to the reviewers during main review meeting.

    During Phase-2, the reviewers assemble and the meeting commences.

  4. Step-5 : Present ARID method –
    The review facilitator spends 30 minutes explaining the steps of the ARID to the participants.
  5. Step-6 : Present design –
    The lead designer presents two – hour overview presentation and walks through examples. During this time, a ground rule is that no questions concerning implementation or rationale are allowed, nor are suggestions about alternate designs. Goal is to see if design is usable, not to find out why things are done in a certain way, or to learn about implementation secrets behind interfaces. Questions of factual clarification are allowed and encouraged. Facilitator enforces this rule during presentation.

    During this time, the scribe captures each question, or each instance where designer indicated that sort of resource (usually a kind of documentation) was on its way nut not yet available. Resulting list is summarized to show potential issues that the designer should address before design could be considered complete and ready for production.

  6. Step-7 : Brainstorm and prioritize scenarios –
    Just as in ATAM, participants suggests scenarios for using design to solve problems they expect to face. During brainstorming, all scenarios are given a fair chance. Then seed scenarios are also kept in the pool. Then, scenarios getting the most votes will be used to test design for usability.
  7. Step-8 : Perform review –
    Considering highest voted scenario, facilitator asks reviewers to jointly craft code that uses design services to solve problem posed by scenario. After review of considered scenarios team reach up to a conclusion.
  8. Step-9 : Present conclusion –
    At the end, list of issues is recounted, participants are polled for their opinions regarding efficacy of the review exercise.
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