Evaluating the usability of a visual feature modeling notation

Abstract : Feature modeling is a popular Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) technique used to describe variability in a product family. A usable feature modeling tool environment should enable SPLE practitioners to produce good quality models, in particular, models that effectively communicate modeled information. FAMILIAR is a text-based environment for manipulating and composing Feature Models (FMs). In this paper we present extensions we made to FAMILIAR to enhance its usability. The extensions include a visualization of FMs, or more precisely , a feature diagram rendering mechanism that supports the use of a combination of text and graphics to describe FMs, their configurations, and the results of FM analyses. We also present the results of a preliminary evaluation of the environment's usability. The evaluation involves comparing the use of the extended environment with the previous text-based console-driven version. The preliminary experiment provides some evidence that use of the new environment results in increased cognitive effectiveness of novice users and improved quality of new FMs.
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7th International Conference, SLE 2014, Sep 2014, Vasteras, Sweden. LNCS 8706, 2014, Software Language Engineering. 〈10.1007/978-3-319-11245-9_7〉
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Aleksandar Jakšic, Robert France, Philippe Collet, Sudipto Ghosh. Evaluating the usability of a visual feature modeling notation. 7th International Conference, SLE 2014, Sep 2014, Vasteras, Sweden. LNCS 8706, 2014, Software Language Engineering. 〈10.1007/978-3-319-11245-9_7〉. 〈hal-01345658〉

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