Towards More Relational Feature Models

Arnaud Gotlieb, Dusica Marijan, Sagar Sen


Feature modeling is of paramount importance to capture variabilities and commonalities within a software product line. Nevertheless, current feature modeling notations are limited, representing only propositional formulae over attributed variables. This position paper advocates the extension of feature modeling formalisms with richer computational domains and relational operations. In particular, it proposes to extend feature modeling with finite and continuous domain variables, with first-order logic quantifiers (8;9), and with N-ary relations between features attributes, and with so-called global constraints. In order to extend the expressiveness while preserving automated analysis facilities, feature models could be semantically interpreted as first-order logic formulae (instead of propositional logic formulae), including global and continuous dependency between features. In simpler words, this paper emphasizes the importance of having more relational feature models and presents next-generation applications.


  1. Acher, M., Collet, P., Fleurey, F., Lahire, P., Moisan, S., and Rigault, J.-P. (2009). Modeling Context and Dynamic Adaptations with Feature Models. In Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop Models@run.time, page 10, United States.
  2. Antkiewicz, M., Bak, K., Murashkin, A., Olaechea, R., Liang, J., and Czarnecki, K. (2013). Clafer tools for product line engineering. In Software Product Line Conference, Tokyo, Japan.
  3. Bagnara, R., Carlier, M., Gori, R., and Gotlieb, A. (2013). Symbolic path-oriented test data generation for floating-point programs. In Proc. of the 6th IEEE Int. Conf. on Software Testing, Verification and Validation (ICST'13), Luxembourg.
  4. Batory, D. (2005). Feature models, grammars, and propositional formula. Software Product Lines, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 3714(3):7-20.
  5. Beldiceanu, N., Carlsson, M., Demassey, S., and Petit, T. (2007). Global constraint catalogue: Past, present and future. Constraints, 12:21-62.
  6. Benavides, D., Segura, S., and Ruiz-Cortés, A. (2010). Automated analysis of feature models: A detailed literature review. Information Systems, (35):615-636.
  7. Benavides, D., Trinidad, P., and Ruiz-Cortés, A. (2005). Using constraint programming to reason on feature models. In Seventeenth International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering (SEKE'05), Jul. 14-16, 2005, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China, pages 677-682.
  8. Birk, A., Heller, G., John, I., Schmid, K., von der Massen, T., and Muller, K. (2003). Product line engineering, the state of the practice. Software, IEEE, 20(6):52- 60.
  9. Czarnecki, K., Helsen, S., and Eisenecker, U. (2005). Formalizing cardinality-based feature models and their specialization. Software Process Improvement and Practice, 10(1):7-29.
  10. Dordowsky, F. and Hipp, W. (2009). Adopting software product line principles to manage software variants in a complex avionics system. In Proc. of the 13th Int. Soft. Product Line Conf., SPLC 7809, pages 265-274.
  11. Eriksson M., B. R. J. and K., B. (2005). The pluss approach domain modeling with features, use cases and use case realizations. In Software Product Line Conference (SPLC'05), pages 33-44.
  12. Gelle, E. and Weigel, R. (1996). Interactive configuration based on incremental constraint satisfaction. In Proc. of Practical Application of Constraint Technology (PACT'96).
  13. Gent, I., Nightingale, P., Rowley, A., and Stergiou, K. (2008). Solving quantified constraint satisfaction problems. Artificial Intelligence, 172:738-771.
  14. Granvilliers, L. (2003). RealPaver User's Manual : Solving Nonlinear Constraints by Interval Computations. University of Nantes, FR. Release 0.3.
  15. Hubaux, A., Jannach, D., Drescher, C., Murta, L., Mnnist, T., Czarnecki, K., Heymans, P., Nguyen, T., and Zanker, M. (2012). Unifying software and product configuration: A research roadmap. In Proceedings of Configuration Workshop at ECAI 2012, Montpellier, France.
  16. Kang, K., Cohen, S., Hess, J., Novak, W., and Peterson, S. (1990). Feature-Oriented Domain Analysis (FODA) Feasibility Study. Technical Report CMU/SEI-90- TR-21, Software Engineering Institute.
  17. Klein, R. (1996). A logic-based description of configuration: The constructive problem solving approach. pages 1-10. AAAI Press, Menlo Park, CA.
  18. Lhomme, O., Gotlieb, A., and Rueher, M. (1998). Dynamic optimization of interval narrowing algorithms. Journal of Logic Programming, 37:164-182.
  19. Liang, J. (2012). Solving clafer models with choco. (GSDLab-TR 2012-12-30).
  20. Marijan, D., Gotlieb, A., Hervieu, A., and Sen, S. (2013). Practical pairwise testing for software product lines. In Software Product Line Conference (SPLC'13), Industrial track, Tokyo, Japan.
  21. Martin Fagereng Johansen, O. H. and Fleurey, F. (2011). Properties of realistic feature models make combinatorial testing of product lines feasible. In Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MODELS'11), pages 638-652.
  22. Mendonc¸a, M., Branco, M., and Cowan, D. (2009). S.p.l.o.t.: software product lines online tools. In OOPSLA Companion, pages 761-762.
  23. Pohl, K., Böckle, G., and Linden, F. J. v. d. (2005). Software Product Line Engineering: Foundations, Principles and Techniques. Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., Secaucus, NJ, USA.
  24. Rossi, F., Beek, P. v., and Walsh, T. (2006). Handbook of Constraint Programming (Foundations of Artificial Intelligence). Elsevier Science Inc., New York, NY, USA.
  25. Schobbens, P., Heymans, P., Trigaux, J., and Bontemps, Y. (2007). Generic semantics of feature diagrams. Computer Networks, 51(2):456-479.
  26. Sen, S. and Gotlieb, A. (2013). Testing a Data-intensive System with Generated Data Interactions: The Norwegian Customs and Excise Case Study. In 25th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering (CAISE'13), Valencia, Espagne.
  27. Uzuncaova, E., Khurshid, S., and Batory, D. (2010). Incremental test generation for software product lines. IEEE Trans. Softw. Eng., 36:309-322.
  28. Xie, H., Henderson, P., and Kernahan, M. (2006). A constraint-based product configurator for mass customisation. IJCAT Journal, 26(1/2):91-98.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Gotlieb A., Marijan D. and Sen S. (2015). Towards More Relational Feature Models . In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Software Engineering and Applications - Volume 1: ICSOFT-EA, (ICSOFT 2015) ISBN 978-989-758-114-4, pages 381-386. DOI: 10.5220/0005553403810386

in Bibtex Style

author={Arnaud Gotlieb and Dusica Marijan and Sagar Sen},
title={Towards More Relational Feature Models},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Software Engineering and Applications - Volume 1: ICSOFT-EA, (ICSOFT 2015)},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Software Engineering and Applications - Volume 1: ICSOFT-EA, (ICSOFT 2015)
TI - Towards More Relational Feature Models
SN - 978-989-758-114-4
AU - Gotlieb A.
AU - Marijan D.
AU - Sen S.
PY - 2015
SP - 381
EP - 386
DO - 10.5220/0005553403810386