A Classification and Survey of Analysis Strategies for Software Product Lines

Thomas Thüm, Sven Apel, Christian Kästner, Ina Schaefer, Gunter Saake
2014 ACM Computing Surveys  
Software-product-line engineering has gained considerable momentum in recent years, both in industry and in academia. A software product line is a set of software products that share a common set of features. Software product lines challenge traditional analysis techniques, such as type checking, testing, and formal verification, in their quest of ensuring correctness and reliability of software. Simply creating and analyzing all products of a product line is usually not feasible, due to the
more » ... entially exponential number of valid feature combinations. Recently, researchers began to develop analysis techniques that take the distinguishing properties of software product lines into account, for example, by checking feature-related code in isolation or by exploiting variability information during analysis. The emerging field of product-line analysis techniques is both broad and diverse such that it is difficult for researchers and practitioners to understand their similarities and differences (e.g., with regard to variability awareness or scalability), which hinders systematic research and application. We classify the corpus of existing and ongoing work in this field, we compare techniques based on our classification, and we infer a research agenda. A short-term benefit of our endeavor is that our classification can guide research in product-line analysis and, to this end, make it more systematic and efficient. A long-term goal is to empower developers to choose the right analysis technique for their needs out of a pool of techniques with different strengths and weaknesses.
doi:10.1145/2580950 fatcat:remygtunanez7o4jwc4l2wmnni