Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University


The quality and longevity of a software-reliant system is largely determined by its architecture. The SEI has been developing and applying theories, technologies, and methods that support the effective use of architecture for more than 20 years. During this time, the SEI has engaged with dozens of organizations in industry, government, and academia to create, mature, and transition architecture-related engineering practices. Based on this work and other research, members of the SEI technical staff have published five books, hundreds of journal articles, papers in conference proceedings, technical reports, and white papers; given numerous presentations; and produced several dozen webinars, videos, and podcasts.

This research has investigated the roles of architecture and quality attribute requirements across the life cycle and for systems at all scales. The results of this research are contributing to the establishment of a discipline of software architecture engineering. In this discipline, architecture is a focal point for performing ongoing analyses to gain increasing levels of confidence that systems will support their business and mission goals.

Current research topics include

  • Agile architecting –  qualitative and quantitative architecture-aware methods and techniques for designing, analyzing, and evolving systems iteratively and incrementally
  • Architectural technical debt – models and practices for measuring technical debt to understand the consequences of architectural investment and risk
  • Software assurance – theories and methods for evidence-based software assurance that systems will work as expected
  • Model-based engineering – tools and analysis techniques for designing, modeling, analyzing, and validating quality attribute requirements for real-time, embedded systems

The SEI packages the results as theories, tools and methods, techniques, publications, presentations, and webinars.

Information on past architecture research at the SEI is also available.