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No technical standard exists for software architecture; however, the IEEE Software Engineering Standards Committee has created a planning group to investigate the issue. See "Standards Annual Report-1996," located at http://www.computer.org/standard/anreport/toc.htm.
Horowitz (1991) emphasizes the importance of architecture; more recently, a Defense Science Board Task Force emphasized the importance of software architecture, and estimated that "a well-formulated architecture might reduce costs of changes/upgrades by 30-50%" (DOD, 1994a).
See the contents of the life-cycle architecture milestone and associated rationale in Boehm (1996).
While personnel capability and understanding of requirements are also important cost factors, these topics are excluded from the discussion below because they are mostly language-independent variables.
This trend is driven by the dual use initiative within DOD (DOD, 1995b) and by legislative changes, namely the Federal Acquisition Reform Act of 1996.
One source (Jones, 1995) found that the mean value of source code statements per function point is 71 for Ada 83 and 49 for Ada 95, for a 30 percent reduction. The amount of empirical evidence is small, however.
Other sets of criteria would apply for other classes of applications.
No independent evaluations of language features were located by the committee, prompting the analysis presented above in the section titled "Technical Evaluation of Ada 95 and Other Third-Generation Programming Languages" and in Appendix B of this report. Most evaluations have been carried out by government agencies or at their direction.
Some of the differences in efficiency and risk ratings may be due to increased Ada maturity, but the decline in availability/reliability is more likely due to differences in interpretation of the evaluation criteria.
Both of these authors are software consultants; Capers Jones is president of Software Productivity Research Inc., and Donald Reifer, formerly director of DOD's Ada Joint Program Office, is with Reifer Consultants Inc.
See Frazier and Bailey (1996) for a recent discussion of STARS demonstration project outcomes.