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Title of article :
Decision-making coordination and efficient reasoning techniques for feature-based configuration
Author/Authors :
Marcilio Mendonca، نويسنده , , Donald Cowan، نويسنده ,
Issue Information :
ماهنامه با شماره پیاپی سال 2010
Pages :
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Abstract :
Software Product Lines is a contemporary approach to software development that exploits the similarities and differences within a family of systems in a particular domain of interest in order to provide a common infrastructure for deriving members of this family in a timely fashion, with high-quality standards, and at lower costs.In Software Product Lines, feature-based product configuration is the process of selecting the desired features for a given software product from a repository of features called a feature model. This process is usually carried out collaboratively by people with distinct skills and interests called stakeholders. Collaboration benefits stakeholders by allowing them to directly intervene in the configuration process. However, collaboration also raises an important side effect, i.e., the need of stakeholders to cope with decision conflicts. Conflicts arise when decisions that are locally consistent cannot be applied globally because they violate one or more constraints in the feature model.Unfortunately, current product configuration systems are typically single-user-based in the sense that they do not provide means to coordinate concurrent decision-making on the feature model. As a consequence, configuration is carried out by a single person that is in charge of representing the interests of all stakeholders and managing decision conflicts on their own. This results in an error-prone and time-consuming process that requires past decisions to be revisited continuously either to correct misinterpreted stakeholder requirements or to handle decision conflicts. Yet another challenging issue related to configuration problems is the typically high computational cost of configuration algorithms. In fact, these algorithms frequently fall into the category of NP-hard and thus can become intractable in practice.In this paper, our goal is two-fold. First, we revisit our work on Collaborative Product Configuration (CPC) in which we proposed an approach to describe and validate collaborative configuration scenarios. We discuss how collaborative configuration can be described in terms of a workflow-like plan that safely guides stakeholders during the configuration process. Second, we propose a preliminary set of reasoning algorithms tailored to the feature modelling domain that can be used to provide automated support for product configuration. In addition, we compare empirically the performance of the proposed algorithms to that of a general-purpose solution. We hope that the insights provided in this paper will encourage other researchers to develop new algorithms in the near future.
Keywords :
Software Product Lines , Product configuration , Feature models , Feature modelling , Decision-making coordination , Automated reasoning , Constraint-based reasoning
Journal title :
Science of Computer Programming
Link To Document :