- A key step of the mission development process is the selection of a system architecture, i.e., the layout of the major high-level system design decisions. This step typically involves the identification of a set of candidate architectures and a cost-benefit analysis to compare them. Computational tools have been used in the past to bring rigor and consistency into this process. These tools can automatically generate architectures by enumerating different combinations of decisions and options. They can also evaluate these architectures by applying cost models and simplified performance models. 2013 IEEE.