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Architecture Description Language (ADL)

An Architecture description language (ADL) is domain-specific modeling language for EAM.

Architecture Description Language (ADL) Foundations

Architecture description languages (ADLs) are any kind of modeling language, that can be used to express system architectures. That means, ADLs provide a set of rules and common practices for the creation of visualizations like e.g. flow diagrams or organization charts. The resulting visualizations address concerns of EAM stakeholders and can be grouped into views [11a].

ADLs are often supported by EAM tools to aid the creation, use and analysis of its models and visualizations [11a].


List of Architecture Description Languages (ADLs)

Examples of ADLs are ArchiMate® developed by the Open Group [16], RM-ODP as defined in ISO/IEC 10746:2009 and ISO/IEC 15414:2015 [15], Rapide developed at Stanford University [Luc+95], Wright developed at Carnegie Mellon University [All97], and SysML developed by the Object Management Group [Obj15].



International Organization for Standardization. 2011. ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010:2011 Systems and software engineering - Architecture description, Ingénierie des systèmes et des logiciels - Description de l’architecture. Standard. 


The Open Group. 2016. ArchiMate® 3.0 Specification, an Open Group Standard. 


ISO/IEC 15414:2015 Information technology – Open distributed processing – Reference model – Enterprise language. Standard. International Organization for Standardization, 2015.


D. C. Luckham, J. J. Kenney, L. M. Augustin, J. Vera, D. Bryan, and W. Mann. 1995. Specification and analysis of system architecture using Rapide.. In: IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 21.4, pp. 336–354. 


R. Allen. 1997. A Formal Approach to Software Architecture. Issued as CMU Technical Report CMU-CS-97-144. PhD thesis. Carnegie Mellon, School of Computer Science.


I. Object Management Group. 2015. OMG Systems Modeling Language (OMG SysMLTM) Version 1.4. Tech. rep. Object Management Group, Inc.