Relating requirements and feature configurations: a systematic approach

Tun, Thein; Boucher, Quentin; Classen, Andreas; Hubaux, Arnaud and Heymans, Patrick (2009). Relating requirements and feature configurations: a systematic approach. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Software Product Line Conference, 24-28 Aug 2009, Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Carnegie Mellon University, pp. 201–210.



A feature model captures various possible configurations of products within a product family. When configuring a product, several features are selected and composed. Selecting features at the program level has a general limitation of not being able to relate the resulting configuration to its requirements. As a result, it is difficult to decide whether a given configuration of features is optimal. An optimal configuration satisfies all stakeholder requirements and quantitative constraints, while ensuring that there is no extraneous feature in it. In relating requirements and feature configurations, we use the description of the problem world context in which the software is designed to operate as the intermediate description between them. The advantage of our approach is that feature selection can be done at the requirements level, and an optimal program level configuration can be generated from the requirements selected. Our approach is illustrated with a real-life problem of configuring a satellite communication software. The use of an existing tool to support our approach is also discussed.

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