Strategies for consistency checking on software product lines: A mapping study
Context. Software Product Lines (SPL) has become one of the most prominents way to promote the systematic reuse of software artifacts. Like any other piece of software, with the SPL aging, it becomes necessary to manage their evolution. However, in this process, engineers might introduce divergences among the SPL artifacts. Thus, a number of initiatives address the management of such inconsistencies. Objective. In this paper, we mapped the existing approaches to inconsistency management within SPL. Method. We used the systematic mapping study methodology. Results. We classified and performed a characterization of the approaches found, which we mangaged to arrange in three main categories. Most papers selected proposed new methods as solution research. Besides, there is still a need for validation and evaluation studies. Conclusion. We identified a lack of support for a number of activities of consistency assurance. For instance, no paper addressed the tracking of findings, decisions, and actions, as well as, few papers describing either the handling or a management policy for identified inconsistencies.