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Ph.D. Student

September 2007 marked the beginning of my Ph.D. at the Faculty of Computer Science of the University of Namur. Since then, I am an active member of the MoVES project, which aims to advance the state of the art in software engineering, model-driven engineering, software evolution, formal modelling and verification, and aspect-oriented software development.

For two decades, feature diagrams (FDs) have been used to document variability in software product line engineering (SPLE). Over the years though, their application span was progressively extended to automated product configuration. Research on feature-based configuration (FBC) has mostly focused on the formalisation of FDs and their automated analysis. Still, currently, FDs are mainly considered as monolithic models and configuration processes as atomic tasks. In fact, very few efforts has been dedicated to the configuration activity itself.

The PhD thesis aims at evaluating and improving existing FBC techniques to ease their uptake by practitioners, possibly beyond the SPL domain. The FD is considered here as a generic constraint language that is used to (1) capture the variability in the configuration domain, and (2) structure, control and analyse the configuration activity, i.e. supervise the configuration activity. Our contribution is a set of flexible and dependable FBC techniques. In essence, we provide support for the specification of the configuration process, the identification of heterogeneous viewpoints, and the decomposition of the configuration space into dedicated configuration views. For each of these mechanisms, we provide a formal semantics and define mathematical properties that can serve as indicators, validity or satisfiability checks. We also intend to translate these properties into algorithms that will then be integrated into the tool chain developed by our lab.

Téléphone: 081/724985
Fax: 081/724967

Charges aux FUNDP


M.S. Computer Science (FUNDP), 2007

Domaines de compétences

Software Engineering

Requirements Engineering

Software Product Lines Engineering

Variability Modelling

Feature Modelling

Projets en cours

Doctorats en cours

Activités organisées

Formation : SIRRIS lecture series on requirements engineering (technology transfer) (, 2008)

Preparation, together with Andreas Classen, of the lecture given by Prof. Patrick Heymans on software product line engineering and feature modelling.

Activités avec contribution

Conférence : 31st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE'09) (Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2009)

Working as a student volunteer and attending research presentations.

Conférence : 2nd International Workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-intensive Systems (VaMoS'08) (University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany, 2008)

Attending the workshop sessions and participating in the practical organisation of the workshop.

Activités : conférencier

Conférence : 16th International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundations for Software Quality (Essen, Germany, 2010)

Attending the conference and presenting the paper "Towards Multi-View Feature-based Configuration".

Conférence : 1st International Workshop on Product Line Requirements Engineering and Quality (PLREQ'10) (Essen, Germany, 2010)

Invited speaker presenting the paper "Workflow-driven Product Derivation".

Conférence : 4th International Workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-intensive Systems (VaMoS'10) (Johannes Kepler University, Linz, Austria, 2010)

Attending all sessions and presenting the paper "A Preliminary Review on the Application of Feature Diagrams in Practice".

Séminaire : Formal Modelling of Feature Configuration Workflows (University of Namur, 2009)

In software product line engineering, the configuration process can be a long and complex undertaking that involves many participants. When configuration is supported by feature diagrams, two challenges are to modularise the feature diagram into related chunks, and to schedule them as part of the configuration process. Existing work has only focused on the first of these challenges and, for the rest, assumes that feature diagram modules are configured sequentially. This paper addresses the second challenge. It suggests using YAWL, a state-of-the-art workflow language, to represent the configuration workflow while feature diagrams model the available configuration options. The principal contribution of the paper is a new combined formalism: feature configuration workflows. A formal semantics is provided so as to pave the way for unambiguous tool specification and safer reasoning about of the configuration process. The work is motivated and illustrated through a configuration scenario taken from the space industry.

Conférence : 13th International Software Product Line Conference (SPLC'09) (San Francisco, CA, USA, 2009)

Attending the tutorial "Evolutionary Product Line Requirements Engineering" presented by Isabel John and presenting the paper titled "Formal Modelling of Feature Configuration Workflows".

Conférence : Doctoral Symposium of the 31st International Conference on Software Engineering (DS@ICSE'09) (Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2009)

Presenting the paper titled "On the Evaluation and Improvement of Feature-based Configuration Techniques in Software Product Lines".

Conférence : ICSE'09 workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (CHASE@ICSE'09) (Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2009)

Presenting the paper titled "Taking Care of Cooperation when Evolving Socially Embedded Systems: The PloneMeeting Case".

Comité scientifique : 1st Workshop on Context-Oriented Programming (Blankenberge, 2009)

Presenting the mind dump titled "Combining Context-Oriented Programming and Feature Diagrams: Towards a Position Statement" and in charge of the "Design & software architecture" discussion group.

Séminaire : A Formal Semantics for Multi-level Staged Configuration (University of Namur, 2009)

Multi-level staged configuration (MLSC) of feature diagrams has been proposed as a means to facilitate configuration in software product line engineering. Based on the observation that configuration often is a lengthy undertaking with many participants, MLSC splits it up into different levels that can be assigned to different stakeholders. This makes configuration more scalable to realistic environments. Although its supporting language (cardinality based feature diagrams) received various formal semantics, the MLSC process never received one. Nonetheless, a formal semantics is the primary indicator for precision and unambiguity and an important prerequisite for reliable tool-support.

We present a semantics for MLSC that builds on our earlier work on formal feature model semantics to which it adds the concepts of level and configuration path. With the formal semantics, we were able to make the original definition more precise and to reveal some of its subtleties and incompletenesses. We also discovered some important properties that an MLSC process should possess and a configuration tool should guarantee. Our contribution is primarily of a fundamental nature, clarifying central, yet ambiguous, concepts and properties related to MLSC. Thereby, we intend to pave the way for safer, more efficient and more comprehensive automation of configuration tasks.

Conférence : 3rd International Workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-intensive Systems (VaMoS'09) (University of Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain, 2009)

Attending all sessions and presenting the paper "A Formal Semantics for Multi-level Staged Configuration".

Colloque : 7th BElgian-NEtherlands software eVOLution workshop (BENEVOL'08) (TU Eindhoven, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 2008)

Presenting a preview of the paper "A Formal Semantics for Multi-level Staged Configuration" submitted to VaMoS'09, contributing to the presentation "Towards a general conceptual framework for model inconsistencies" and attending all the presentations.

Conférence : 1st International Workshop on Modularization, Composition and Generative Techniques for Product Line Engineering (McGPLE'08) (Nashville, USA, 2008)

Presenting the paper "Modelling Variability in Self-Adaptive systems: Towards a Research Agenda" and attending all the presentations.

Conférence : 12th International Software Product Line Conference (SPLC'08) (Limerick, Ireland, 2008)

Attending the conference and presenting the paper "Variability Modelling Challenges from the Trenches of an Open Source Product Line Re-Engineering Project".

Conférence : 7th International Workshop on Early Aspects (EA'08) (Brussels, 2008)

Presenting the paper "Separating Variability Concerns in a Product Line Re-Engineering Project" and attending all the presentations.

Activités avec simple participation

Conférence : 1st Workshop on Creativity in Requirements Engineering (CREARE'10) (Essen, Germany, 2010)

Attending the workshop.

Formation : Growing a Language from the Inside Out (University of Namur, 2010)

Francqui Chair lecture series given by Theo D'Hondt (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).

Formation : Design Science Methodology by Prof. Roel Wieringa (University of Namur, 2009)

In software engineering and information systems research, the design of algorithms, techniques, notations, procedures, methods, tools, etc. alternates with empirical research of the effect of these artifacts in the software engineering domain. This is methodologically complex because it involves a mutual nesting of design problems and research questions, as well as a balancing of abstraction with utility for stakeholders. This tutorial provides guidelines help practicing software engineering and information systems researchers to set up the methodology of design research projects.

The tutorial uses the engineering cycle as its top-level methodological framework. Within this framework, we first treat typical engineering research questions such as the design prediction what effects will be produced by a designed artefact in a problem domain, what the valuation of these effect with respect to stakeholder goals is and how sensitive this is to changes in the problem domain. Next, we discuss the large range of research methods available to the software engineering researcher when validating artefact designs, from lab experiments to simulations and field research. Thirdly, we will discuss the role of theories of practice in explaining and predicting artifact behavior in a problem domain, and fourthly we will provide a usable structure for practical design theories and provide hints for finding or building these theories. Many examples from software engineering and information systems research are given to illustrate the points made in the tutorial. The tutorial is summarized in the form of a set of guidelines for practicing software engineering and information systems researchers.

Conférence : 1st Workshop on Scalable Modeling Techniques for Software Product Lines (SCALE'09) (San Francisco, CA, USA, 2009)

Attending the workshop.

Formation : Questions spéciales de l'informatique fondamentale: méthodes de développement B et CSP (University of Namur, 2009)

La méthode B, inventée par Jean-Raymond Abrial, est une théorie et une méthodologie pour le développement formel des systèmes informatiques. B est utilisée dans l'industrie, surtout pour les applications critiques et sécuritaires. Par exemple le système de contrôle de la ligne 14 du métro de Paris a été généré à l'aide d?un modèle B de 100,000 lignes et le système fonctionne depuis 1999 sans faille.

CSP (Communicating Sequential Processes) est une algèbre de processus inventé par Tony Hoare. CSP est particulièrement adapté pour représenter des systèmes distribués ainsi que des protocoles (surtout cryptographique).

Dans ce cours (4 jours) les fondations de B et de CSP ont été présentée ainsi que la validation de spécifications B et CSP et les outils associés.

Plus précisément, les buts du cours pour la méthode B sont :

  • compréhension des fondations de la méthode B (syntaxe, sémantique, notion de raffinement);
  • pouvoir écrire et animer des spécifications B;
  • pouvoir prouver des spécifications simples avec AtelierB ou Rodin;
  • pouvoir générer du code « correct par construction » pour des spécifications simples;
  • compréhension des bases du « model checking » avec l'outil ProB.

Pour CSP, les buts du cours sont :

  • compréhension des fondations de CSP (syntaxe et sémantique, notion de raffinement CSP);
  • pouvoir écrire et animer des spécifications CSP;
  • compréhension des bases du « refinement checking » avec les outils FDR et ProB.
Conférence : 23rd International Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA'08) (Nashville, USA, 2008)

Attending most keynotes and Onward sessions.

Conférence : 7th International Conference on Generative Programming and Component Engineering (GPCE'08) (Nashville, USA, 2008)

Attending all the presentations.

Formation : COMET and constraint programming by Prof. Pascal Van Hentenryck (, 2008)

Over the last two decades, constraint programming (CP) has become a fundamental approach to combinatorial optimization and is now in daily use around the world to solve complex applications in a variety of areas such as logistics, manufacturing, and resource allocation.

This graduate class is an introduction to constraint programming using the innovative optimization language Comet. It reviews the essence of constraint programming and how it complements other approaches to combinatorial optimization. It provides an in-depth study of modeling, filtering, and search in constraint programming. The functionalities are constraint programming are illustrated on a variety of realistic applications, highlighting some of the modeling and computational benefits of constraint programming.

The class also studies the architecture of a modern constraint programming system, including the clean separation between the specification of the search and the exploration strategy and the transparent parallelization of constraint programs. Finally, the hybridization of constraint programming and other optimization methodologies is also discussed.

Conférence : 1st International Workshop on Analyses of Software Product Lines (ASPL'08) (Limerick, Ireland, 2008)

Attending the workshop.

Conférence : 2nd International Workshop on Dynamic Software Product Lines (DSPL'08) (Limerick, Ireland, 2008)

Attending the workshop.

Colloque : Fundamental Aspects of Software Evolution - FNRS Contact Group on Fundamental Computer Science (University of Namur, Namur, 2008)

Attending the keynote of Dr. Juan Fernandez-Ramil (The Open University) and the subsequent presentations.

Conférence : 7th International Conference on Aspect-Oriented Software Development (AOSD'08) (Brussels, 2008)

Attending most research and industry tracks and the tutorial on "Aspect-Oriented Requirements Engineering With Scenarios".

Formation : Evol@Mons - Research Seminar on Software Evolution (Université Mons-Hainaut, Mons, 2008)
Colloque : Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM'08) (Brussels, 2008)
Formation : Petri Nets and their Analyses (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, 2007)

Attending a tutorial covering the basics of Petri nets, as well as some classical methods and tools to analyse them.

Colloque : 6th Belgian-Netherlands Software Evolution Workshop (BENEVOL'07) (FUNDP, Namur, 2007)

Attending all the presentations.

Colloque : 1st PReCISE Day (FUNDP, Namur, 2007)

Attending all the presentations.

Formation : 2nd Summer School on Generative and Transformational Techniques in Software Engineering (GTTSE'07) (Braga, Portugal, 2007)

Attending tutorials by Krzysztof Czarnecki (University of Waterloo), Jean-Marie Favre (University of Grenoble), Stan Jarzabek (National University of Singapore), Oege de Moor (Oxford University), José Nuno Oliveira (University of Minho), Markus Pueschel (Carnegie Mellon University), Walid Taha (Rice University), Eelco Visser (Delft University of Technology) and various other technical presentations.

Publications (22)

Contributions à des ouvrages collectifs

On the Use of Real-Time Agents in Distributed Video Analysis Systems, in Proceedings of the SPIE 2007


Rapports de recherche

Supporting Multiple Perspectives in Feature-based Configuration: Foundations
Arnaud HUBAUX, Patrick HEYMANS, Pierre-Yves SCHOBBENS
Relating Requirements and Feature Configurations: A Systematic Approach
Thein Than TUN, Quentin BOUCHER, Andreas CLASSEN, Arnaud HUBAUX, Patrick HEYMANS
Towards a Unifying Conceptual Framework for Inconsistency Management Approaches: Definitions and Instantiations
Taming Time in Software Product Lines
Arnaud HUBAUX, Andreas CLASSEN