Visualization of variability and configuration options

Pleuss, Andreas; Botterweck, Goetz
October 2012
International Journal on Software Tools for Technology Transfer;Oct2012, Vol. 14 Issue 5, p497
Academic Journal
When designing, constructing, and maintaining diverse and variable software systems, a key challenge is the complexity of systems. A potential approach to tackle this challenge are techniques from variability management and product line engineering to handle the diversity and variability. A key asset in variability management is a variability model, which explicitly specifies the commonalities and variability of a system and the constraints between variants. However, handling variability and configurations remains a challenge due to the complexity on a cognitive level as human engineers reach their limits in identifying, understanding, and using all relevant details. In this paper we address this issue by providing concepts for interactive visual tool support for the configuration of systems with the help of feature models. We discuss relevant principles from the area of information visualization and their application to the domain of feature model configuration. We discuss techniques for interactive configuration support based on a reasoning engine, which, e.g., ensures the validity of configurations. We illustrate our findings by a concrete tool solution called S2T2 Configurator.


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