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Guided Exploration of the Architectural Solution Space in the Face of Uncertainty

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Executive Summary

A system's early architectural decisions impact its properties (e.g., scalability, dependability) as well as stakeholder concerns (e.g., cost, time to delivery). Choices made early on are both difficult and costly to change, and thus it is paramount that the engineer gets them "Right". This leads to a paradox, as in early design, the engineer is often forced to make these decisions under uncertainty, i.e., not knowing the precise impact of those decisions on the various concerns. How could the engineer make the "Right" choices in such circumstances? This is precisely the question the authors have tackled in this paper.

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