ICSE 2012 Workshops
2012 34th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE)
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2012 Third International Workshop on Product LinE Approaches in Software Engineering (PLEASE), June 4, 2012, Zurich, Switzerland

PLEASE 2012 – Proceedings

Contents - Abstracts - Authors

Third International Workshop on Product LinE Approaches in Software Engineering (PLEASE)


Title Page

Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) is an engineering technique for taking advantage of commonalities and variabilities among a family of similar software products to achieve efficiency in product production. By adopting SPLE practices, organizations are able to achieve significant improvement in time-to-market and quality, reduce engineering and maintenance costs, portfolio size, and more. However, despite the proven benefits of SPLE over traditional reuse approaches, SPLE is still in the early adopter stage.
The main goal of PLEASE 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 SPLE community. PLEASE is an interactive workshop that aims to connect participants and establish long-term collaborations between them. For instance, researchers and experienced users will be able to apply their expertise to industrial problems, while industrial participants can benefit from the suggested solutions. We also expect additional exchanges of ideas by connecting people working on similar challenges or similar solutions.

Industrial Cases and Challenges

Towards Efficient Functional Safety Certification of Construction Machinery Using a Component-Based Approach
Stephan Baumgart, Joakim Fröberg, and Sasikumar Punnekkat
(Volvo, Sweden; Mälardalen University, Sweden)
Electronic systems in the automotive domain implement safety critical functionality in vehicles and the safety certification process according to a functional safety standard is time consuming and a big part of the expenses of a development project. We describe the functional safety certification of electronic automotive systems by presenting a use case from the construction equipment industry. In this context, we highlight some of the major challenges we foresee, while using a product line approach to achieve efficient functional safety certification of vehicle variants. We further elaborate on the impact of functional safety certification when applying the component-based approach on developing safety critical product variants and discuss the implications by cost modeling and analysis.

Article Search
Leveraging Variability Modeling for Multi-dimensional Model-Driven Software Product Lines
João Bosco Ferreira Filho, Olivier Barais, Benoit Baudry, and Jérôme Le Noir
(INRIA, France; IRISA, France; University of Rennes 1, France; Thales Research and Technology, France)
In order to be adopted in industrial cases, the Software Product Line paradigm must be adapted to the specific organizational context and culture. In this paper, we consider a scenario of a multinational company that would benefit from SPL. This company uses a model-based software and system development process, which allows them to build reliable and consistent systems for the defence, security, aerospace and transportation domain. Initial efforts to adopt SPL in their software production proved successful. However, they still need to leverage variability modeling to the software and system level, integrating it to their existing model-based development. Therefore, this work aims at (i) presenting an industrial scenario and identifying the main challenges to leverage variability modeling for it, (ii) outlining our point of view and perspectives on how these challenges can be addressed, and (iii) discussing the suitability of current variability modeling approaches.

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Managing and Assessing the Risk of Component Upgrades
Maria Carmela Annosi, Massimiliano Di Penta, and Genoveffa Tortora
(Ericsson Telecomunicazioni, Italy; University of Sannio, Italy; University of Salerno, Italy)
This paper describes the experience, carried out by Ericsson Telecomunicazioni S.p.A (Italy), in managing the migration of their legacy products towards a product line approach and, specifically, how the update of third-party software products is handled in such product lines. The paper describes the Ericsson application scenario in the development and evolution of network management products. Then, it provides an overview of how the company adopts (i) an internal toolkit to manage third party software products, with the aim of determining the impact of their updates upon variants of the network management system, and (ii) a risk management framework, which helps the developer to decide whether and when update third-party products.

Article Search
Enhance Value by Building Trustworthy Software-Reliant System of Systems from Software Product Lines
Dong Li and Ye Yang
(FISCAN, China; Chinese Academy of Science, China)
Ever growing and expanding mission-critical domains generate ever emerging and more serious challenges. Complexity which may greatly reduce the trustworthiness of a system is the key reason. Based on the practice of FISCAN in the security inspection domain, we believe a software-reliant system of systems (srSoS) built from software product lines (SPL) is a viable solution to address these issues. In this paper, we present a framework of SPL-to-srSoS to extend SPL practices to srSoS and argue its value-enhancement effects by rapidly meeting increased complexity and emergent behaviors of System of Systems (SoS). The framework employs a basic principle of system hiding, and consists of a SPL-to-srSoS process model and an initially conceived value model. A successfully deployed FISCAN srSoS at Airports provides demonstration for the discussion throughout the paper.

Article Search
Using Feature Modelling and Automations to Select among Cloud Solutions
Clément Quinton, Laurence Duchien, Patrick Heymans, Stéphane Mouton, and Etienne Charlier
(INRIA, France; University of Lille, France; University of Namur, Belgium; CETIC, Belgium)
Cloud computing is a major trend in distributed computing environments. Resources are accessed on demand by customers and are delivered as services by cloud providers in a pay-per-use model. Companies provide their applications as services and rely on cloud providers to provision, host and manage such applications on top of their infrastructure. However, the wide range of cloud solutions and the lack of knowledge in this domain is a real problem for companies when facing the cloud solution choice. In this paper, we propose to use Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) and Feature Model (FM) configuration to develop a decision-supporting tool. Using such modelling techniques and automations, this tool takes into consideration the application technical requirements as well as the user quality requirements to provide an accurate result among cloud solutions that best fits both requirements.

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Adapting Software Product Lines for Complex Certifiable Avionics Software
Neset Sozen and Ettore Merlo
(CMC Electronics, Canada; École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada)
In avionics, the size and complexity of software-intensive systems increased considerably during recent years. Besides the size and the complexity, certification constraints also had negative impact on the cost and schedule of avionics software projects. Model-Driven Development (MDD) and Software Product Lines Engineering (SPLE) offer an opportunity to improve the avionics software development process, reduce the cost and improve the time to market.
Complexity of avionics software and certification constraints pose several challenges to SPLE adoption. Software Product Lines (SPL) framework must provide bi-directional traceability between requirements and low level software assets (e.g. code and test), facilitate production of certification deliverables, allow validation on the target platform and provide code coverage. Also, SPL offer a scheme to manage the complexity of avionics software systems through variability management tools.

Article Search


Languages and Tools for Managing Feature Models
Mathieu Acher, Raphaël Michel, Patrick Heymans, Philippe Collet, and Philippe Lahire
(University of Namur, Belgium; INRIA, France; University of Lille, France; University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France)
Feature models (FMs) are the de facto standard for modeling variability of software product lines. The research effort is still intensive and aims at increasing the adoption of FMs in practice. Integrated solutions that combine state-of-the-art techniques, languages, and tools are emerging. We give an overview of complementary languages, TVL and FAMILIAR, and tools for the purpose of supporting the management (e.g., configuration) of FMs. We report on practical applications of the languages and tools in different domains and for different purposes. Still, we are interested in applying our solutions to other contexts (e.g., industrial) in order to determine their applicability and possible adoption by practitioners.

Article Search
Towards More Reliable Configurators: A Re-engineering Perspective
Quentin Boucher, Ebrahim Khalil Abbasi, Arnaud Hubaux, Gilles Perrouin, Mathieu Acher, and Patrick Heymans
(University of Namur, Belgium; INRIA, France; University of Lille, France)
Delivering configurable solutions, that is products tailored to the requirements of a particular customer, is a priority of most B2B and B2C markets. These markets now heavily rely on interactive configurators that help customers build complete and correct products. Reliability is thus a critical requirement for configurators. Yet, our experience in industry reveals that many configurators are developed in an ad hoc manner, raising correctness and maintenance issues. In this paper, we present a vision to re-engineering more reliable configurators and the challenges it poses. The first challenge is to reverse engineer from an existing configurator the variability information, including complex rules, and to consolidate it in a variability model, namely a feature model. The second challenge is to forward engineer a new configurator that uses the feature model to generate a customized graphical user interface and the underlying reasoning engine.

Article Search
Driving Flexibility and Consistency of Business Processes by Means of Product-Line Engineering and Decision Tables
Nicola Boffoli, Danilo Caivano, Daniela Castelluccia, and Giuseppe Visaggio
(University of Bari, Italy)
Today's organizations are increasingly pushed to be distributed by space, time and capabilities and are involved to leverage synergies by integrating their business processes in order to produce new value-added products and services. Here the importance of integrating whole processes rather than simply integrate databases or software applications. Seeing the duality between products and processes, we propose to exploit flexibility provided by the product-line engineering approach for modeling business processes as a Business Process Line (BPL) in order to capture process variability, promote reuse and integration and provide the capacity to anticipate process changes. To support process evolution and consistency, we suggest the use of decision tables to elicit, track and manage all the emerging decision points during business process modeling, with the purpose of maintaining the relationships among business needs, environmental changes and process tasks. In a real case study we practiced the proposed methodology by leveraging the synergy of feature models, variability mechanisms and decision tables. The results prove that the BPL satisfies the requirements for business process flexibility.

Article Search
Recovering Variability Information from the Source Code of Similar Software Products
Slawomir Duszynski and Martin Becker
(Fraunhofer IESE, Germany)
We developed a reverse engineering technique, named Variant Analysis, aimed for recovering and visualizing information about commonalities and differences that exist in the source code of multiple similar software systems. The delivered information is available on any level of system hierarchy, from single lines of code up to whole software systems. The technique scales well for many compared system variants and for large software systems. We think Variant Analysis could be useful for practitioners who need to identify source-level similarities between many potentially unknown software systems – either with the primary goal of understanding the variability in the systems, or with a further motivation such as preparation for an extractive introduction of the product line approach.

Article Search
Software Product Line Engineering of Space Flight Software
Julie Street Fant, Hassan Gomaa, and Robert G. Pettit, IV.
(Aerospace Corporation, USA; George Mason University, USA)
This paper presents a practical solution to a real-life industrial problem in the unmanned space flight software (FSW) domain using software product lines and software architectural design patterns. In the FSW domain, there exists a significant amount of variability in the required capabilities. For example, some FSW have a significant amount of hardware to control and operate in a nearly autonomous fashion. In contrast, other FSW have a small amount of hardware to control and rely heavily of commanding from the ground station to operate the spacecraft. The underlying architecture and component interactions needed for the different FSWs are quite different. This amount of architectural variability makes it difficult to develop a SPL architecture that covers the all possible variability in the FSW domain. Therefore, this paper presents a practical solution to this real world problem that leverages software product line concepts and software architectural design patterns.

Article Search
Value-Based Portfolio Scoping: An Industrial Case Study
Jie Hu, Ye Yang, Qing Wang, Guenther Ruhe, and Haitao Wang
(Chinese Academy of Science, China; University of Calgary, Canada; National Fundamental Software of China, China)
Customization is considered as a promising way for better satisfying diversity of customer needs. In organizations short of resources, it is a frequent challenge to get balance between development and customization workload in order to ensure product success as well as customer satisfaction. In this paper, we proposed a value-based product portfolio scoping approach to determine optimal product scale for planning software product line adoption. The approach blends existing methods in domain analysis, requirements clustering, and valuation theory. An industrial case study is presented to demonstrate the application of the approach and its effectiveness.

Article Search
Optimizing Problem Space Representations through Domain Multi-modeling
Andrea Leitner, Reinhold Weiss, and Christian Kreiner
(TU Graz, Austria)
This work states that there is a need for an optimized problem space representation for heterogeneous domains. We identify two modeling paradigms widely used in practice: Domain-Specific Modeling (DSM) and Feature-Oriented Domain Modeling (FODM). Each modeling paradigm favors different domain characteristics. Especially the fact that software often is embedded either in a system or in a process and, therefore, is strongly influenced by its environment enforces the demand for a combined representation. We propose a concept for a multi-modeling approach based on existing technology. Multi-modeling means the combina-tion of the two main modeling paradigms to represent a heterogeneous domain. The major benefit of the approach is the reduction of representation complexity by optimizing the representation of single subdomains. This will be shown on one representative case study from the automotive domain. Another advantage is the improved stakeholder communication because of familiar notations. A discussion of limitations shows potential for future work.

Article Search
Delta-Oriented Model-Based SPL Regression Testing
Sascha Lity, Malte Lochau, Ina Schaefer, and Ursula Goltz
(TU Braunschweig, Germany)
Testing software product lines by considering each product variant in isolation is impracticable due to the high number of potential product configurations. Therefore, applying SPL reuse principles also to test artifacts in a concise way is essential. We address this open issue by a novel, model-based SPL testing framework based on reusable delta-oriented state machine test models and regression-based test suite evolution. Therein, SPL test artifacts are incrementally evolved for every product variant by explicitly considering commonality and variability between two subsequent products under test. Our approach guarantees for every product configuration stable test coverage and allows the derivation of redundancy-reduced, yet reliable retesting obligations. We illustrate our framework by means of an automotive case study and compare our experimental results with alternative SPL testing strategies w.r.t. efficiency improvements.

Article Search
Product Line Tool-Chain: Variability in Critical Systems
Cristina López Saratxaga, Carmen Alonso-Montes, Oystein Haugen, Cecilia Ekelin, and Andreas Mitschke
(Tecnalia, Spain; SINTEF, Norway; Volvo, Sweden; EADS, Germany)
Competitiveness has thrown industries towards adding more features to existent products increasing their inherent complexity. One of the main challenges is to define mechanisms and tools to control the propagation of the dependencies through the different engineering phases, keeping consistency among requirements and the final system design. SPL provide mechanisms to control the evolution and design of product families, based on an exhaustive variant analysis. However, the critical system industry does not adopt them due to the lack of tool support for the complete life-cycle. In this paper, a product line tool chain is presented based on the analysis of current SPL tools and approaches in order to fit the specific needs within industry partners in the CESAR project. The main goal is to show the benefits of a combination of SPL tools in an industrial scenario.

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Feature-Analysis-Based Selection Method for System Configuration for System Testing
Daisuke Shimbara, Hiroyuki Watanabe, Shinichi Kakushi, Masumi Kawakami, and Hideto Ogawa
(Hitachi, Japan)
In a system composed of multiple units, it is necessary for system testing to prepare different system configurations. The selection of system configurations requires product knowledge, experience and many man-hours. This paper proposes a method to select system configurations using feature analysis. In this method, the result of the feature analysis is expressed with an extended product map. The proposed method is applied to commercial air conditioning systems. The commercial air conditioning system is composed of multiple indoor units, an outdoor unit, and a central unit, that work co-operatively.

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