Managing, multiple feature models: foundations, languages and applications

Research output: External Thesis Doctoral Thesis


Software product Line (SPL) engineering is a paradigm shift towards modeling and developing software system families rather than individual systems. It focuses on the means of efficiently producing and maintaining multiple similar software products, exploiting what they have in common and managing what varies among them. Feature models (FMs) are a fundamental formalism for specifying and reasoning about commonality and variability of SPLs. FMs are becoming increasingly complex, handled by several stakeholders or organizations, used to describe features at various levels of abstraction and related in a variety of ways. Maintaining a single large FM is neither feasible nor desirable. Instead, multiple FMs are now used. In this thesis, we develop theoretical foundations and practical support for managing multiple FMs. We design and develop a set of composition and decomposition operators (aggregate, merge, slice) for supporting separation of concerns. The operators are formally defined, implemented with a fully automated algorithm and guarantee semantics properties. We show how the composition and decomposition operators can be combined together or with other reasoning and editing operators to realize complex tasks. We propose a textual language, FAMILIAR, which provides a practical solution for managing FMs on a large scale. We report various applications of the operators and usages of FAMILIAR in different domains (medical imaging, video surveillance) and for different purposes (scientific workflow design, variability modeling from requirements to runtime, reverse engineering), showing the applicability of both the operators and the supporting language.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis
  • Heymans, Patrick, Jury Member
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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