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A simulation model of self-organising evolvability in software systems

Cook, S., Harrison, R. and Wernick, P. (2005) A simulation model of self-organising evolvability in software systems. In: IEEE International Workshop on Software Evolvability, Proceedings. Ieee Computer Soc, Los Alamitos, pp. 17-22. ISBN 0769524605

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The evolvability of a software artifact is its capacity for producing heritable or reusable variants; the inverse quality is the artifact's inertia or resistance to evolutionary change. Evolvability in software systems may arise from engineering and/or self-organising processes. We describe our 'Conditional Growth' simulation model of software evolution and show how, it can be used to investigate evolvability from a self-organisation perspective. The model is derived from the Bak-Sneppen family of 'self-organised criticality' simulations. It shows good qualitative agreement with Lehman's 'laws of software evolution' and reproduces phenomena that have been observed empirically. The model suggests interesting predictions about the dynamics of evolvability and implies that much of the observed variability in software evolution can be accounted for by comparatively simple self-organising processes.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
ID Code:14377
Uncontrolled Keywords:EVOLUTION, CRITICALITY
Publisher:Ieee Computer Soc

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