ACCU 2016: Algorithmic Architecture

Performant Architecture in Evolving Regulatory Environments

Not long ago I gave a talk at the excellent ACCU conference in Bristol titled “Algorithmic Architecture: Architecture in Evolving Regulatory Environments”. The talk received some very good feedback and quite a few people asked for the slides so here they are in their original format:

For those who are wondering if you should take the time to read through the slides here is the abstract that was featured in the ACCU 2016 program:

“In complex, highly regulated (and therefore constrained) environments it is a continual struggle to develop high performance systems and adapt them as constraints evolve. Typical architectures stagnate and performance improvements are focused more and more on known pain points with considerable (even heroic) effort employed to address them. Eventually that too is not enough and systems need to be re-architected and re-written. Ultimately leading to costly 3-5 year regeneration programs.

With the sweeping regulatory changes brought on by the 2008 Financial Crisis and the 2010 Flash Crash as a backdrop, the talk explores regulations, and problems, and their impact on architecture. Such regulatory changes only add to the already huge pressure on system implementors to provide high performance, ultra-low latency, throughput-scalable and highly available systems.

The talk looks at how these competing forces ― the desire for optimal performance coupled with a need to adapt to an ever changing regulatory environment, or indeed changing constraints in general ― have catalysed our work at to adopt an “algorithmic architecture” approach. This has allowed us to maintain agility while also facilitating the development of optimal systems based on solid architecture. It also turns out that C++ as a language is well suited to supporting the approach, though the techniques are themselves language agnostic.”