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Unifying Software and Product Configuration: A Research Roadmap

Arnaud Hubaux‚ Dietmar Jannach‚ Conrad Drescher‚ Leonardo Murta‚ Tomi Mannisto‚ Krzysztof Czarnecki‚ Patrick Heymans‚ Tien Nguyen and Markus Zanker


For more than 30 years, knowledge-based product configuration systems have been successfully applied in many industrial domains. Correspondingly, a large number of advanced techniques and algorithms have been developed in academia and industry to support different aspects of configuration reasoning. While traditional research in the field focused on the configuration of physical artefacts, recognition of the business value of customizable software products led to the emergence of software product line engineering. Despite the significant overlap in research interests, the two fields mainly evolved in isolation. Only limited attempts were made at combining the approaches developed in the different fields. In this paper, we first aim to give an overview of commonalities and differences between software product line engineering and product configuration. We then identify opportunities for cross-fertilization between these fields and finally develop a research agenda to combine their respective techniques. Ultimately, this should lead to a unified configuration approach.

Book Title
Proceedings of the ECAI 2012 Workshop on Configuration
Montpellier‚ France