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ECSA 2020
Mon 14 - Fri 18 September 2020 L'Aquila, Italy

Evaluating the performance characteristics of software architectures is not trivial since many factors, such as workload fluctuations and service failures, contribute to large variations. To reduce the impact of these factors, architectures are refactored so that their design becomes more robust and less prone to performance violations. The goal of this paper is to propose an approach for visualizing the impact, from a performance perspective, of different performance-based architectural refactorings. This way, software architects are aware of how uncertain parameters contribute to distributions of performance metrics of interest when considering different design alternatives. We present an illustrative case study including 64 performance-based architectural refactorings, and we show that their visualization can accurately support software architects in the selection of the most suitable designs. Through an online user study we collected opinions on the proposed approach, namely emph{VisArch}, and interestingly users modify the selection of performance-based architectural refactorings after being exposed to visual representations.