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The State of Adoption and the Challenges of Systematic Variability Management in Industry

Abstract : Handling large-scale software variability is still a challenge for many organizations. After decades of research on variability management concepts, many industrial organizations have introduced techniques known from research, but still lament that pure textbook approaches are not applicable or efficient. For instance, software product line engineering-an approach to systematically develop portfolios of products-is difficult to adopt given the high upfront investments; and even when adopted, organizations are challenged by evolving their complex product lines. Consequently, the research community now mainly focuses on re-engineering and evolution techniques for product lines; yet, understanding the current state of adoption and the industrial challenges for organizations is necessary to conceive effective techniques. In this multiple-case study, we analyze the current adoption of variability management techniques in twelve medium-to large-scale industrial cases in domains such as automotive, aerospace or railway systems. We identify the current state of variability management, emphasizing the techniques and concepts they adopted. We elicit the needs and challenges expressed for these cases, triangulated with results from a literature review. We believe our results help to understand the current state of adoption and shed light on gaps to address in industrial practice.
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Submitted on : Monday, December 9, 2019 - 5:18:15 PM
Last modification on : Monday, December 6, 2021 - 5:12:03 PM
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Thorsten Berger, Jan-Philipp Steghöfer, Tewfik Ziadi, Jacques Robin, Jabier Martinez. The State of Adoption and the Challenges of Systematic Variability Management in Industry. Empirical Software Engineering, Springer Verlag, 2020, 25, ⟨10.1007/s10664-019-09787-6⟩. ⟨hal-02400963⟩



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