An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Interdependencies

TitleAn Interdisciplinary Perspective on Interdependencies
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsDe Souza, C. R. B., and D. F. Redmiles
Series TitleTechnical Report
Document NumberUCI-ISR-05-7
Date PublishedMay
InstitutionInstitute for Software Research, University of California, Irvine
TypeTechnical Report
Keywordstraceability. Figure for vertical and horizontal traceability

Modularity is a very general principle for managing complex systems. It suggests thedivision of a system into smaller parts, called modules. This principle has been applied tocomplex systems in many domains, including product engineering, organizations anddevelopment processes. In any domain, modules must interact in a coordinated fashionfor an effective system. Interactions imply interdependencies. Therefore,interdependencies between the modules need to be supported—analyzed, engineered,documented, developed, and managed—efficiently and effectively if the complex systemis to be successful. Indeed, different disciplines have created approaches for supportinginterdependencies, each with its particular perspective. This paper surveys approachesfrom several different disciplines, including software engineering, organization science,management, computer-supported cooperative work, and human-computer interaction. Ituses a theoretical framework that supports the comparison of approaches acrossdisciplines. This paper also creates a vocabulary for discussing interdependencies.Commonalities among the approaches are identified and suggestions for promisingresearch areas in the study of interdependencies are described.