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Science Park 3

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Project Abstract


Software Product Lines (SPL) are families of systems that share common functionality but also have variations tailored for distinct needs. Technology advances and demands for complex and varied applications have made reliable SPL techniques a necessity to tackle such demands. Most SPL methodologies integrate variability into software artefacts which contain both the common and variable parts. Depending on the features required, the unneeded variable parts are removed to build the system. As the number of variable parts increases so does the complexity of integrating them correctly. This complexity can potentially grow exponentially as all features and their interactions must be considered across all artefacts. Emerging SPL techniques advocate encapsulation of variable parts across multiple views into separated features, which are composed according to client needs. With the compositional approach, the complexity is reduced as only those variable parts that can be composed together need to be considered simultaneously. Compositional SPL techniques allow separate development of variable parts by encapsulating them. However, this capability poses consistency problems as changing a variable part without considering the other related parts may introduce errors. This is compounded when variable parts are described through multiple and distinct models (views). Common mainstream modelling techniques advocate the use of different yet related models to represent the different stakeholders' needs - a practice known as Multi-View Modelling (MVM). MVM technologies provide different alternatives for handling consistency but have focused on one-of-a-kind multi-view systems without any variability considerations. Leveraging their use in compositional SPL approaches does pose a major challenge: how to extend them for handling consistency in and amongst the encapsulated multi-view variable parts while considering their composition. This is the foundation of the proposed work.