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Evaluating variability instantiation strategies for product lines

: John, Isabel; Silva, Adeline de Sousa


Czarnecki, K. ; Association for Computing Machinery -ACM-:
VaMoS 2011, Fifth International Workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-intensive Systems : 27 -29 January, 2011, Namur, Belgium; proceedings
New York: ACM Press, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4503-0570-9
International Workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-Intensive Systems (VaMoS) <5, 2011, Namur>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
experimentation; variability; instantiation; decision

Explicit variability management is essential for large product lines and requires explicit strategies for instantiating the managed variabilities during application engineering. An instantiation strategy proposes a certain order for the resolution of variabilities during application engineering or for testing. If an alphabetical strategy is used, for instance, the variabilities are resolved in alphabetical order, from A to Z. In this paper, we motivate the necessity of strategies for large variability models, which help to identify starting points and guide the resolution of variability models.
We sketch the application of the strategies in a tool and give the results of an experiment performed to compare the strategies in different situations. The experiment showed that the efficiency of instantiation differs by more than 35% between different strategies. Additionally, the meaningfulness of the instantiation was perceived differently for the various strategies and the strategies were all perceived as being easy to resolve. With the experiment, we managed to demonstrate that the effectiveness of instantiation strategies differs, which motivates the need for different variability instantiation strategies in different situations.