The Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method
• White Paper
Software Engineering Institute
This paper presents the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM), a structured technique for understanding the tradeoffs inherent in design. This method was developed to provide a principled way to evaluate a software architecture's fitness with respect to multiple competing quality attributes: modifiability, security, performance, availability, and so forth. These attributes interact—improving one often comes at the price of worsening one or more of the others as is demonstrated in the paper. The ATAM is a spiral model of design: one of postulating candidate architectures followed by analysis and risk mitigation, leading to refined architectures.