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Summary

Model problems have been successfully applied by the SEI in collaboration with organizations over the past five years. These can be applied with varying degrees of formality, but successful model problems always consist of the steps outlined in this article (that is a design question, a priori evaluation criteria, implementation constraints, one or more model solutions, a posteriori evaluation criteria, and evaluation).

Model problems are extensively covered in Building Systems from Commercial Components, including an extensive case study describing multiple applications of this technique in the Web-based system and security domains. Generally speaking, model problems have proven to be a successful technique for adding rigor to component-based system design as well as reforming the means by which component evaluation and selection is performed.

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