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ThinkMind // International Journal On Advances in Software, volume 5, numbers 3 and 4, 2012 // View article soft_v5_n34_2012_9


Soft Constraints in Feature Models: An Experimental Assessment

Authors:
Jorge Barreiros
Ana Moreira

Keywords: Feature Models; Software Product Lines; Soft Constraints; Feature Consistency; Feature Interaction; Semantic Validation

Abstract:
Feature Models specify admissible configurations of products in Software Product Lines. Constraints are used to represent domain specific knowledge, such as requiring or excluding a feature in the presence of another. Configurations failing to conform to these constraints are deemed invalid. However, in many cases useful domain information cannot be expressed comfortably with such forceful, hard constraints. To overcome this problem, softer constraints, of less forcing nature, can be used. We describe a framework for including soft constraints in feature models based on propositional logic. Analysis procedures for detecting inconsistencies and conflicts in this framework are also described. Test sets are built by injecting soft constraints into publicly available feature models, recreating typical patterns of use. These features are then subjected to automated analysis to assess the prevalence of soft constraint related conflicts and interactions.

Pages: 252 to 262

Copyright: Copyright (c) to authors, 2012. Used with permission.

Publication date: December 31, 2012

Published in: journal

ISSN: 1942-2628

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