You are required to read and agree to the below before accessing a full-text version of an article in the IDE article repository.

The full-text document you are about to access is subject to national and international copyright laws. In most cases (but not necessarily all) the consequence is that personal use is allowed given that the copyright owner is duly acknowledged and respected. All other use (typically) require an explicit permission (often in writing) by the copyright owner.

For the reports in this repository we specifically note that

  • the use of articles under IEEE copyright is governed by the IEEE copyright policy (available at
  • the use of articles under ACM copyright is governed by the ACM copyright policy (available at
  • technical reports and other articles issued by M‰lardalen University is free for personal use. For other use, the explicit consent of the authors is required
  • in other cases, please contact the copyright owner for detailed information

By accepting I agree to acknowledge and respect the rights of the copyright owner of the document I am about to access.

If you are in doubt, feel free to contact

The GRADE taxonomy for supporting decision-making of asset selection in software-intensive system development


Efi Papatheocharous , Krzysztof Wnuk , Kai Petersen , Séverine Sentilles, Antonio Cicchetti, Tony Gorschek , Syed Muhammad Ali Shah

Publication Type:

Journal article


Information and Software Technology





Context The development of software-intensive systems includes many decisions involving various stakeholders with often conflicting interests and viewpoints.Objective Decisions are rarely systematically documented and sporadically explored. This limits the opportunity for learning and improving on important decisions made in the development of software-intensive systems.Method In this work, we enable support for the systematic documentation of decisions, improve their traceability and contribute to potentially improved decision-making in strategic, tactical and operational contexts.Results We constructed a taxonomy for documentation supporting decision-making, called GRADE. GRADE was developed in a research project that required composition of a common dedicated language to make feasible the identification of new opportunities for better decision support and evaluation of multiple decision alternatives. The use of the taxonomy has been validated through thirty three decision cases from industry.Conclusion This paper occupies this important yet greatly unexplored research gap by developing the GRADE taxonomy that serves as a common vocabulary to describe and classify decision-making with respect to architectural assets.


author = {Efi Papatheocharous and Krzysztof Wnuk and Kai Petersen and S{\'e}verine Sentilles and Antonio Cicchetti and Tony Gorschek and Syed Muhammad Ali Shah},
title = {The GRADE taxonomy for supporting decision-making of asset selection in software-intensive system development},
volume = {51},
number = {6},
pages = {1--17},
month = {August},
year = {2018},
journal = {Information and Software Technology},
publisher = {Elsevier},
url = {}