The principle of limited reduction in software design

Lars Mathiassen, Jan Stage

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides a simple but powerful theoretical framework for understanding and combining different approaches to software design. The main result is expressed in what we call The Principle of Limited Reduction. This principle states that relying on analytical behavior to reduce complexity introduces new sources of uncertainty and this requires experimental countermeasures. Correspondingly, relying on experimental behavior to reduce uncertainty introduces new sources of complexity requiring analytical countermeasures.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Technology & People
Issue number2-3
Pages (from-to)171-185
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1990


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