Level of modularity at different levels of system granularity

Noemi Chiriac*, Katja Hölttä-Otto, Dusan Lysy, Eun Suk Suh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

All system development projects involve analysis of the system architecture. However, it has been assumed thus far that there is some correct system decomposition that can be used in the architectural analysis. The sensitivity of the results to the chosen level of decomposition has not been considered. We represent forty eight idealized system architectures and a real complex system as a Design Structure Matrix at two different levels of decomposition. We analyze these architectures for their degree of modularity. We find that the degree of modularity can vary for the same system when the system is represented at the two different levels of granularity. For example, the printing system used in the case study is considered slightly integral at a higher level of decomposition and quite modular at a lower level of decomposition. We further find that even though the overall results can be different depending on the level of decomposition, the direction of change toward more modular or more integral can be calculated the same regardless of the level of decomposition. Level of decomposition can distort the results of architectural analysis and care must be taken in defining the system decomposition for any analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2011
Pages329-339
Number of pages11
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference - Washington, United States
Duration: 28 Aug 201131 Aug 2011

Conference

ConferenceASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
Abbreviated titleIDETC/CIE
CountryUnited States
CityWashington
Period28/08/201131/08/2011

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