Modularity is complementary to Hierarchy in managing complexity.

"[A module is] a unit that is a component part of a larger systemand yet possessed of its own structure and/or functional identity" [1] quoted in [2].

Modularity appears in many contexts. For example there is modularity of product [3], [4], technical systems [5], [6] and in natural systems [2].

Related Material

  • Baldwin, C.Y. & Clark, K.B. 1999, Design Rules: The Power of Modularity Volume 1, MIT Press.
  • Charfi, A. & Mezini, M. 2007, 'AO4BPEL: An Aspect-oriented Extension to BPEL', World Wide Web, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 309-344.
  • Devanbu, P., Balzer, B., Batory, D., Kiczales, G., Launchbury, J., Parnas, D. & Tarr, P. 2003, 'Modularity in the new millenium: a panel summary', paper presented to the Proceedings of the 25th International Conference on Software Engineering, Portland, Oregon.
  • Kumar, A. 2004, 'Mass customization: Metrics and modularity', International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, vol. 16, pp. 287–311.
  • Kumar, A. 2007, 'From mass customization to mass personalization: a strategic transformation', International Journal of Flexible Manufacturing Systems, vol. 19, pp. 533–547.
  • Langlois, R.N. 1999, 'Modularity in Technology, Organization, and Society', Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 19-37.
  • Lopes, C.V. & Bajracharya, S.K. 2005, 'An analysis of modularity in aspect oriented design', paper presented to the Proceedings of the 4th international conference on Aspect-oriented software development, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Song, Y. 2007, 'Adaptation Hiding Modularity for Self-Adaptive Systems', paper presented to the Companion to the proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Software Engineering.
  • Yu, L. & Ramaswamy, S. 2007, 'Verifying design modularity, hierarchy, and interaction locality using data clustering techniques', paper presented to the Proceedings of the 45th annual southeast regional conference, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

1. Moss L. 2001. 'Deconstructing the gene and reconstructing molecular developmental systems'. In Oyama S., Griffiths P. E. & Gray R. D. (eds.) Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
2. Callebaut, W. & Rasskin-Gutman, D. (eds) 2005, Modularity: Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
3. Sanchez, R. & Mahoney, J.T. 1996, 'Modularity, flexibility, and knowledge management in product and organization design', Strategic Management Journal, vol. 17, no. Winter Special Issue, pp. 63-76.
4. Schilling, M.A. 2000, 'Toward a general modular systems theory and its application to interfirm product modularity', Academy of Management Review, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 312-334.
5. Cacho, N., Batista, T., Garcia, A., Sant'Anna, C. & Blair, G. 2006, 'Improving modularity of reflective middleware with aspect-oriented programming', paper presented to the Proceedings of the 6th international workshop on Software engineering and middleware, Portland, Oregon.
6. Cai, Y. & Huynh, S. 2007, 'An Evolution Model for Software Modularity Assessment', paper presented to the Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Software Quality.
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