Publikation - Einzelansicht
details for the publication
|Christian Kröher, Lea Kristin Gerling and Klaus Schmid
|Comparing the Intensity of Variability Changes in Software Product Line Evolution
|Beitrag zu Zeitung oder Zeitschrift
|Journal of Systems and Software
|digital object identifier (doi)
The evolution of a Software Product Line (SPL) typically affects multiple kinds of artifacts. The intensity (frequency and amount) in which developers change variability information in them was unknown, until we introduced a fine-grained approach for the variability-centric extraction and analysis of changes to code, build, and variability model artifacts. Its application to the commits of the Linux kernel revealed that changes to variability information occur infrequently and only affect small parts of the analyzed artifacts. Further, we outlined how these results may improve certain analysis and verification tasks during SPL evolution. However, the sole analysis of a single SPL did not allow for generic conclusions.
In this paper, we extend our previous work to a comparative evolution analysis of four SPLs. We provide a detailed analysis of the individual intensities of variability changes by applying our updated approach to each SPL. A comparison of these results confirms our findings of infrequent and small changes to variability information in our previous study. However, differences in the details of these changes exist, which we cannot explain solely by the characteristics of the SPLs or their development processes. We discuss their implications on supporting SPL evolution and on our previous optimization proposals.