Composing Multiple Variability Artifacts to Assemble Coherent Workflows

Abstract : The development of scientific workflows is evolving towards the system- atic use of service oriented architectures, enabling the composition of dedicated and highly parameterized software services into processing pipelines. Building consistent workflows then becomes a cumbersome and error-prone activity as users cannot man- age such large scale variability. This paper presents a rigorous and tooled approach in which techniques from Software Product Line (SPL) engineering are reused and ex- tended to manage variability in service and workflow descriptions. Composition can be facilitated while ensuring consistency. Services are organized in a rich catalog which is organized as a SPL and structured according to the common and variable concerns captured for all services. By relying on sound merging techniques on the feature mod- els that make up the catalog, reasoning about the compatibility between connected services is made possible. Moreover, an entire workflow is then seen as a multiple SPL (i.e., a composition of several SPLs). When services are configured within, the prop- agation of variability choices is then automated with appropriate techniques and the user is assisted in obtaining a consistent workflow. The approach proposed is com- pletely supported by a combination of dedicated tools and languages. Illustrations and experimental validations are provided using medical imaging pipelines, which are rep- resentative of current scientific workflows in many domains.
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Mathieu Acher, Philippe Collet, Alban Gaignard, Philippe Lahire, Johan Montagnat, et al.. Composing Multiple Variability Artifacts to Assemble Coherent Workflows. Software Quality Journal, Springer Verlag, 2012, 20 (3-4), pp.689-734. ⟨10.1007/s11219-011-9170-7⟩. ⟨hal-00733556⟩

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