Resolution of Interfering Product Fragments in Software Product Line Engineering

The Common Variability Language (CVL) allows deriving new products in a software product line by substituting fragments (placement) in the base model. Relations between elements of different placement fragments are an issue. Substitutions involving interfering placements may give unexpected and unintended results. However, there is a pragmatic need to define and execute fragments with interference. The need emerges when several diagrams are views of a single model, such as a placement in one diagram and a placement in another diagram reference the same model elements. We handle the issue by 1) classifying interfering fragments, 2) finding criteria to detect them, and 3) suggesting solutions via transformations. We implement our findings in the tooling available for downloading.

Vasilevskiy, A., Haugen, Ø.: Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8767

Comprehensibility of Feature Models: Experimenting with CVL

Feature modeling is a common way to present and manage variability of software and systems. As a prerequisite for effective variability management is comprehensible representation, the main aim of this paper is to investigate difficulties in understanding feature models. In particular, we focus on the comprehensibility of feature models as expressed in Common Variability Language (CVL), which was recommended for adoption as a standard by the Architectural Board of the Object Management Group. Using an experimental approach with participants familiar and unfamiliar with feature modeling, we analyzed comprehensibility in terms of comprehension score, time spent to complete tasks, and perceived difficulty of different feature modeling constructs. The results showed that familiarity with feature modeling did not influence the comprehension of mandatory, optional, and alternative features, although unfamiliar modelers perceived these elements more difficult than familiar modelers. OR relations were perceived as difficult regardless of the familiarity level, while constraints were significantly better understood by familiar modelers. The time spent to complete tasks was higher for familiar modelers.
Reinhartz-Berger, I., Figl, K., Haugen, Ø.: Lecture Notes in Computer Science LNCS 8767

VARIES framework to support tool integration in product line engineering

Even though product line technologies and methods are well established in today’s development environments, various challenges still remain. Different ways of handling variability in system development tools have arisen posing an integration challenge to today’s tool chains. This issue is further amplified by the variety of integration approaches. The VARIES framework addresses these challenges through technology adaptation, i.e. the utilization of model transformations and traceability support.

Michael Wagner, Grit Dudeck, Christian Tcholtchev, Christian Gebhardt, Andreas Korff; SPLC ’14 Proceedings of the 18th International Software Product Line Conference, ACM

BVR – Better Variability Results.

We present BVR (Base Variability Resolution models), a language developed to fulfill the industrial needs in the safety domain for variability modeling. We show how the industrial needs are in fact quite general and that general mechanisms can be used to satisfy them. BVR is built on the OMG Revised Submission of CVL (Common Variability Language), but is simplified and enhanced relative to that language.

Haugen, Ø., Øgård, O; Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8769

8th workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-intensive Systems

Variability management is a major challenge in the development, maintenance, and evolution of software-intensive systems. VaMoS 2014 focuses broadly on innovative work in the area of variability modelling and management. We particularly invite contributions with a strong variability modelling aspect, but also addressing the wider area of variability management, e.g., requirements, architecture, analysis, implementation, and evolution.

The VaMoS workshop series aims at bringing together researchers and practitioners from different areas dedicated to mastering variability to discuss advantages, drawbacks, and
complementarities of various approaches and to present new results for mastering variability throughout the whole lifecycle of systems, system families, and product lines.


Join VARIES at the Co-summit 2013

Join VARIES under the topic ‘Software innovation: boosting high-tech employment and industry’ at the Co-summit 2013 in the capital of Sweden – Stockholm – the sixth edition of the annual Co-summit took place! On 4 & 5 December the Scandic Infra Business Center was this years the place to be to meet about 650-700 participants from industry, academia, public authorities and press from all over Europe. The Co-summit – organised by ARTEMIS Joint Undertaking on embedded systems and ITEA, the EUREKA Cluster on software-intensive systems and services – was featuring international keynote speakers, a high level panel discussion and an inspiring project exhibition including speakers’ corners fuelled by the project teams themselves. This year’s theme for this high level event was: Software innovation: boosting high-tech employment and industry. 

OMG Technical Meeting, Presentation of CVL to 2 technical groups beyond ADTF

The OMG Technical Meeting provides IT architects, business analysts, government experts, vendors and end-users a neutral forum to discuss, develop and adopt standards that enable software interoperability for a wide range of industries. Attend an OMG Technical Meeting to influence the direction of future standards work, hear from industry experts, network with your peers and be among the first to know what will be cutting edge tomorrow. Information Days–one or two-day in-depth events on a specific area of interest–are held during each Technical Meeting and are a great way to get training and learn about standards and related practices, methodologies & technologies.

OMG Technical Meeting, Presentation of CVL to 2 technical groups beyond ADTF

Challenges and industry practices for managing software variability in software companies

Software variability is an ability to change (configure, customize, extend) soft ware artefacts (e.g. code, product, domain requirements, models, design, documentation, test cases) for a specific context. Optimized variability management can lead a software com pany to 1) shorter development lead time, 2) improved customer and improved user satisfaction, 3) reduced complexity of product management (more variability, same S) and 4) reduced costs (same variability, less $). However, it is not easy for software companies. By introducing the challenges and used practices related to variability the paper deepens understanding of this highly relevant but relatively underresearched phenomenon and contributes to the literature on software product line engineering.

Ihme T., Pikkarainen M., Biot O., Teppola S., “Challenges and industry practices for managing software variability in software companies” Journal: Empirical Software Engineering

A Survey of Variability Modeling in Industrial Practice

Over more than two decades, numerous variability modeling techniques have been introduced in academia and industry. However, little is known about the actual use of these techniques. While dozens of experience reports on software product line engineering exist, only very few focus on variability modeling. This lack of empirical data threatens the validity of existing techniques, and hinders their improvement. As part of our effort to improve empirical understanding of variability modeling, we present the results of a survey questionnaire distributed to industrial practitioners. These results provide insights into application scenarios and perceived benefits of variability modeling, the notations and tools used, the scale of industrial models, and experienced challenges and mitigation strategies.

Thorsten Berger, Ralf Rublack, Divya Nair, Joanne M. Atlee, Martin Becker, Krzysztof Czarnecki, Andrzej Wasowski, “A Survey of Variability Modeling in Industrial Practice”, Proceedings of VAMOS Symposium ’13 (Pisa, Italy)

Scrum adoption and architectural extensions in developing new service applications of large financial IT systems

The use of modern agile software development mtehods in large organisations requires tailoring agile development to the organisation needs. This study concentrated on studying integrating software product line and agile application development in the context of large and complex fiancial IT systems.

T. Ihme, “Scrum adoption and architectural extensions in developing new service applilcations of large financial IT systems”, Journal of the Brazilian Computer Society, December 2012