Conquering the Combinatorial Explosion: Analyzing Variable Software

Day - Time: 11 December 2014, h.11:00
Place: Area della Ricerca CNR di Pisa - Room: C-40
  • Sven Apel (Chair of Software Product Lines, Department of Informatics and Mathematics, University of Passau, Germany)

Maurice Henri ter Beek


Variability is everywhere, and software is no exception: It is difficult to imagine any kind of non-trivial software system that is not variable or configurable. Beside immediate benefits, such as mass customization, variability introduces an additional dimension of complexity that poses new challenges for software engineering.

I will provide an overview of recent work on efficiently analyzing and understanding variable software systems. In particular, I will categorize and compare different strategies to incorporate variability during analysis and to conquer the combinatorial explosion of the configuration space. Furthermore, I will report on success stories of applying different kinds of analyses to variable software as well as on potential pitfalls. At the heart of the problem, I will relate issues of developing and analyzing variable software systems to the infamous feature-interaction problem and its importance for further developments in this area.