ICSE 2011 Workshops
33rd International Conference on Software Engineering
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Second International Workshop on Product Line Approaches in Software Engineering (PLEASE 2011), May 22-23, 2011, Waikiki, Honolulu, HI, USA

PLEASE 2011 – Proceedings

Contents - Abstracts - Authors

Second International Workshop on Product Line Approaches in Software Engineering (PLEASE 2011)


Title Page

PLEASE workshop series focuses on exploring the present and the future of Software Product Line Engineering techniques. The main goal of PLEASE 2011 is to bring together industrial practitioner and software product line researchers in order to couple real-life industrial problems with concrete solutions developed by the community.

Industrial Cases

Use of SPLE to Deliver Custom Solutions at Product Cost – Challenges and a Way Forward
Vinay Kulkarni
(Tata Research Development and Design Centre, India)
Need for adaptiveness of business applications is on the rise with continued increase in business dynamics. Ground-up development techniques neither deliver nor can scale in this dynamic situation. Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) aims to increase adaptiveness by capturing commonality and variability up front to suitably configure the application from its parts. Code-centric SPLE techniques show unacceptable responsiveness when business applications are subjected to changes along multiple simultaneously evolving dimensions. Using clear separation of functional concerns from implementation platform, model driven approaches enable easy delivery of the same functionality into multiple technology platforms. However, business applications exhibit variability in several dimensions such as functionality, business process, design decisions, architecture, and technology platform. We argue that SPLE techniques need to be elevated to a higher level of abstraction to enable them to work in unison with model-driven techniques in order to realize the desired adaptiveness along all these dimensions. We have been delivering large business applications using model-driven techniques for past 15 years. In this paper, we have outlined several key challenges that we faced in adopting SPLE and presented tenets of a solution that is likely to have greater acceptance by industry practice.

Issues in Software Product Line Evolution: Complex Changes in Variability Models
Steve Livengood
(Samsung Electronics, USA)
This paper describes industrial experience with the evolution of a software product line of multifunction printers, specifically, experience with modification of the variability model in ways that alter constraints and other relationships between variation points. Evaluating the impact of such changes has proven to be difficult in practice and is an unsolved problem for the organization described.

On the Problems with Evolving Egemin's Software Product Line
Bartosz Michalik, Danny Weyns, and Wim Van Betsbrugge
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; Egemin Automation, Belgium)
Egemin, an industrial manufacturer of logistic systems is adopting a Software Product Line (SPL) approach to manage the development of their product portfolio. However, due to the intrinsic complexity of the logistic systems and lack of explicitly documented architectural knowledge evolution of the products is error-prone. Faulty updates increase maintenance costs and harm the company’s reputation. Therefore, Egemin searches for a systematic solution that can improve their SPL evolution strategy.

Migrating Towards Evolving Software Product Lines: Challenges of an SME in a Core Customer-driven Industrial Systems Engineering Context
Fritz Stallinger, Robert Neumann, Robert Schossleitner, and Stephan Kriener
(Software Competence Center Hagenberg, Austria; STIWA Automation GmbH, Austria)
In this paper we identify key challenges a medium-sized software organization is facing in migrating towards Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE). The software engineering context of the company is characterized by a two-fold access to the market – core customer driven product enhancement and product development for a broader, anonymous market – and the embedding of software engineering in multi-disciplinary systems and solutions engineering. Based on a characterization of the business, the software product subject to migration towards SPLE, and the goals and background of the SPLE initiative, seven key challenges with respect to the migration are identified. These challenges relate to process diversity in the face of multiple reuse approaches; the management of requirements and variability; the integration of requirements traceability and variability management; legacy software and discipline- vs. software-specific modularization; integration with systems engineering; costing and pricing models; and project vs. product documentation.

Solutions and Techniques

Design and Validation of Variability in Product Lines
Patrizia Asirelli, Maurice H. ter Beek, Alessandro Fantechi, Stefania Gnesi, and Franco Mazzanti
(ISTI-CNR, Italy; Università di Firenze, Italy)
We propose an emerging solution technique, pushing the application of model-checking techniques to the design and validation of variability in a product line (PL), mainly aimed at those industrial domains where model-based development is adopted for the development of safety-critical systems.

Commonality and Variability Analysis for Resource Constrained Organizations
Gary Chastek, Patrick Donohoe, and John D. McGregor
(SEI/CMU, USA; Clemson University, USA)
This position paper describes our current work in adapting a software product line technique to the constraints of a development organization. We report on applying a commonality and variability analysis with an organization adopting a software product line approach while facing sever resource constraints because of current product development commitments. The immediate focus of the paper is on blending commonality and variability analysis into the organization’s existing requirements development process. The longer-term goal of this work is to facilitate the transition to product lines in a minimally intrusive way. The paper describes how the approach was introduced and implemented, and summarizes the benefits achieved and the issues arising from the work to date.

On-Demand Integration of Product Lines: A Study of Reuse and Stability
Alessandro Gurgel, Francisco Dantas, and Alessandro Garcia
(PUC-Rio, Brazil)
The integration of multiple SPLs is increasingly becoming a trend to enable on-demand derivation of new products and accelerate their time-to-market. Integration of SPLs often implies the reuse of a previously-implemented feature across other SPLs. The reuse of a SPL feature is only viable if the underlying programming mechanisms enable its smooth composition within the code of other SPLs. If the required modifications are significant, the design of the target SPLs are likely to be destabilized. This paper presents an exploratory study on the integration of three product lines from the board game domain. We investigate how aspect-oriented and feature-oriented programming impact on the reuse and stability of those product lines.

Identifying Best Practice by Analyzing the Evolution of the FISCAN MTMSIS Software Product Line
Dong Li
(FISCAN and First Research Institute of Ministry of Public Security, China)
In the face of development of a software-intensive products family in a domain, Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) itself is a best practice that has been representatively demonstrated by the cases inducted into Software Product Line Hall of Fame. SPLE best practice is supported by various and vivid meta best practices generated from concrete activities through solution finding processes. This paper describes the evolution of the FISCAN MTMSIS software product line, nominated to the Hall of Fame at SPLC 2010. FISCAN applies SPLE in the security inspection domain and has identified SPLE best practices through years of experience in the past. This paper discusses some representative best practices and the lessons we learned during the process. More work, both development and research, are still in progress on the platform of the MTMSIS software product line and FISCAN will continue to apply SPLE in the future.

Smart Composition of Reusable Software Components in Mobile Application Product Lines
Ricardo Erikson V. S. Rosa and Vicente F. Lucena, Jr.
(Federal University of Amazonas, Brazil)
Mobile application development opens up several challenges to developers. Among these challenges, possibly the most important one is the porting of applications to the heterogeneous devices available on the market. This requires mobile developers to create and maintain several versions of their applications in order to deal with particular features of each platform, including display size, development libraries, sensors, keypad layout, etc. The Software Product Lines (SPL) approach seems to be an useful technique to support mobile application development. A way to make SPL more effective is automating the software components composition for building mobile applications. We present a software infrastructure called AppSpotter that enables the dynamic and automated composition of software components of mobile applications taking into account the particular features of each mobile device. By means of the devices features, AppSpotter determines the components selection and composition of them to build customized mobile applications.

Ontology-Based Product Line Modeling and Generation
Harvey Siy, Aaron Wolfson, and Mansour Zand
(University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA)
Software product line engineering defines a family of related software products. Every software product line engineering method has two essential elements, a set of models representing the product family, and a process for instantiating product members from those models. In this paper, we investigate the use of ontologies to model product lines. We also show how product members can be instantiated from an ontology-based model. We discuss our early experiences using ontologies to specify a family of workflows for a large insurance company.

Supporting Feature Model Configuration using a Demonstration-based Approach
Yu Sun, Hyun Cho, Jeff Gray, and Jules White
(University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA; University of Alabama, USA; Virginia Tech, USA)
Configuration of feature models in software product-lines typically involves manipulating a model to modify the feature selections and analyzing the model to ensure that no configuration constraints are violated. In order to capture and reuse configuration knowledge from different users, model transformation and constraint languages can be used to specify and automate the constraint checking and model manipulation processes. However, this approach presents challenges to general end-users (e.g., domain experts who may not be programmers) who do not have experience using these languages. This paper presents an end-user technique to support capture and reuse of feature model configurations.

Flexible Support for Managing Evolving Software Product Lines
Cheng Thao and Ethan V. Munson
(University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA)
In software product line engineering, core assets are shared among multiple products. Core assets and products generally evolve independently. Developers need to capture evolution in both contexts and to propagate changes in both directions between the core assets and the products. Current version control systems have no support for these tasks and this may be one reason for the slow adoption of the product line approach. We address these issues with a prototype version control system that is designed to support product line engineering, but without imposing a strong process model. The prototype is being tested on the DITA documentation standard. It supports evolution of core assets and of products, as well as propagation of changes from core assets to products and vice versa.

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