Feature-interaction detection based on feature-based specifications

Date of Original Version




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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.comnet.2013.02.025

Abstract or Description

Formal specification and verification techniques have been used successfully to detect feature interactions. We investigate whether feature-based specifications can be used for this task. Feature-based specifications are a special class of specifications that aim at modularity in open-world, feature-oriented systems. The question we address is whether modularity of specifications impairs the ability to detect feature interactions, which cut across feature boundaries. In an exploratory study on 10 feature-oriented systems, we found that the majority of feature interactions could be detected based on feature-based specifications, but some specifications have not been modularized properly and require undesirable workarounds to modularization. Based on the study, we discuss the merits and limitations of feature-based specifications, as well as open issues and perspectives. A goal that underlies our work is to raise awareness of the importance and challenges of feature-based specification.



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Published In

Computer Networks, 57, 12, 2399-2409.