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Visualizing Feature-Level Evolution in Product Lines: A Research Preview

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNPSE,volume 12045)


[Context and motivation] Software product lines evolve frequently to address customer requirements in different domains. This leads to a distributed engineering process with frequent updates and extensions. [Question/problem] However, such changes are typically managed and tracked at the level of source code while feature-level awareness about software evolution is commonly lacking. In this research preview paper we thus present an approach visualizing the evolution in software product lines at the level of features. [Principal ideas/results] Specifically, we extend feature models with feature evolution plots to visualize changes at a higher level. Our approach uses static code analyses and a variation control system to compute the evolution data for visualisation. As a preliminary evaluation we report selected examples of applying our approach to a cyberphysical ecosystem from the field of industrial automation. [Contribution] Integrating visualisations into state-of-the-art feature models can contribute to better integrate requirements-level and code-level perspectives during product line evolution.


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The financial support by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, the National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development, and KEBA AG, Austria is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Paul Grünbacher .

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Hinterreiter, D., Grünbacher, P., Prähofer, H. (2020). Visualizing Feature-Level Evolution in Product Lines: A Research Preview. In: Madhavji, N., Pasquale, L., Ferrari, A., Gnesi, S. (eds) Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality. REFSQ 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12045. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-44428-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-44429-7

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