Research roadmap

Numerous activities have been elicited that attract the joint interest of the partners. Most of the activities will revolve around a common theme: feature models. In particular we classify the activities that will be jointly executed into two major categories:

The first category deals with the extending the theory of feature models. In concrete terms, we have identified the following research challenges to be addressed:

  • Extending feature diagrams [Classen1] and formalisms for feature interactions [Classen2] to include the notion of time and other run-time parameters, necessary for context-oriented domain analysis [Costanza1]
  • Extending the formalization of feature conflicts [Classen2] to the different types of feature interactions [Sanen1, Scandariato1] (dependency, support, conflict, impairment, alternative, and so on).
  • Defining a feature algebra [Vandeursen] that enables the reasoning about the composition and interactions of features [Sanen1, Costanza2].
  • Applying the semantics of a common denominator for feature-oriented domain analysis [Trigaux] to other representations of feature models [Costanza1, Sanen1]

There is a clear convergence of interests that will spring off in fruitful collaborations. However, in order to make these efforts concrete, the partners have agreed on writing a position paper that elaborates on the need of extensions of feature models. The paper will constitute the roadmap for future work.

In the second category, we have the application of feature models and their extensions to existing work of the partners. Examples are:

  • Runtime feature composition/decomposition applied in the Plone case study [Hubaux]
  • Applying representation of feature and feature dependencies in several contexts.

Finally, some additional joint activities have emerged in the area of architectural patterns:

  • Automating the instantiation of architectural patterns [Scandariato1] via Architectural Integration patterns [Waignier1]
  • Connecting architectural patterns [Scandariato1] to requirement decomposition patterns [Classen1]


[Classen1] Classen, A., Heymans, P., Laney, R., Nuseibeh, B. and Tun, T. T. On the Structure of Problem Variability: From Feature Diagrams to Problem Frames. In Proceedings of the First International Workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-intensive Systems, January 2007, Limerick, Ireland, pages 109-117, LERO, 2007.

[Classen2] Classen, A., Heymans, P. and Schobbens, P. What’s in a Feature: A Requirements Engineering Perspective. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Fundamental Approaches to Software Engineering FASE’08, Held as Part of the Joint European Conferences on Theory and Practice of Software ETAPS’08, 2008.

[Costanza1] Brecht Desmet, Jorge Vallejos, Pascal Costanza, Wolfgang De Meuter, Theo D’Hondt: Context-Oriented Domain Analysis. in CONTEXT 2007: 178-191,

[Costanza2] Pascal Costanza and Robert Hirschfeld. Reflective Layer Activation in ContextL. ACM Symposium on Applied Computing, March 11-15, Seoul, Korea. ACM Press, 2007.

[Hubeaux] Separating Variability Concerns in a Product Line Re-Engineering Project, in Proceedings of the Early Aspects Workshop at AOSD.08 Arnaud HUBAUX, Patrick HEYMANS

[Sanen1] Frans Sanen, Eddy Truyen and Wouter Joosen, Managing Concern Interactions in Middleware,In Proceedings of International Conference on Distributed Applications and Interoperable Systems (DAIS 2007), LNCS 4541, Springer, 2007,

[Scandariator1] Koen Yskout, Riccardo Scandariato, Bart De Win, Wouter Joosen, Transforming security requirements into architecture, Symposium on Requirements Engineering for Information Security (SREIS), Barcelona, Spain, March 2008

[Trigaux] Trigaux, J., Heymans, P., Schobbens, P. and Classen, A. Comparative semantics of Feature Diagrams : FFD vs vDFD. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Comparative Evaluation in Requirements Engineering (CERE06) held in conjunction with the 14th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE06), 2006

[Vandeursen] A. van Deursen and P. Klint. Domain-Specific Language Design Requires Feature Descriptions. Journal of Computing and Information Technology, 10(1):1-17, 2002.

[Waignier1] Guillaume Waignier, Anne-Fran├žoise Le Meur and Laurence Duchien, FIESTA: A generic framework for integrating new functionalities into software architecture, in Software Architecture, Springer LNCS 4758/2007

wp3/research_roadmap.txt · Last modified: 2008/03/25 23:09 by eddy.truyen