Author(s): Marta Sabou, Fajar J. Ekaputra, Tudor Ionescu, Jürgen Musil, Daniel Schall, Kevin Haller, Armin Friedl, Stefan Biffl
Abstract: When reusing software architectural knowledge, such as design patterns or design decisions, software architects need support for exploring architectural knowledge collections, e.g., for finding related items. While semantic-based architectural knowledge management tools are limited to supporting lookup-based tasks through faceted search and fall short of enabling exploration, semantic-based exploratory search systems primarily focus on web-scale knowledge graphs without having been adapted to enterprise-scale knowledge graphs (EKG). We investigate how and to what extent exploratory search can be supported on EKGs of architectural knowledge. We propose an approach for building exploratory search systems on EKGs and demonstrate its use within Siemens, which resulted in the STAR system used in practice by cca. 300 software architects. We found that the the EKG’s ontology allows making previously implicit organisational knowledge explicit and this knowledge informs the design of suitable relatedness metrics to support exploration. Yet, the performance of these metrics heavily depends on the characteristics of the EKG’s data. Therefore both statistical and user-based evaluations can be used to select the right metric before system implementation.
Keywords: software engineering; software architectural knowledge; enterprise knowledge graph; exploratory search