SPL Evolution Mapping Study

We conducted a Systematic Mapping Study following Kitchenham's guidelines.

Our aim is to map-out the SPL evolution area, providing an overview on the field.

The overall research questions we aim to answer are the following:

RQ1: What types of research have been reported, to what extent, and how is coverage evolving?

RQ2: Which product-derivation approach received most coverage, and how is coverage evolving?

RQ3: Which kind of SPL asset received more attention, and how is attention evolving?

RQ4: Which activities of the evolution life-cycle received most coverage, and how is this coverage evolving?

Software Product Lines (SPLs) aim to support the development of a family of similar software products from a common set of reusable assets. SPLs exhibit long life-span, and hence, SPL evolution is an even greater concern than for traditional single applications. For the purpose of this work, “evolution” refers to the adaptation of the SPL as a result of changing SPL requirements. From this perspective, evolution is triggered by requirement changes, and not so much by bug fixing or refactoring. Indeed, SPLs’ long life-span makes evolution a top priority, yet far from being fully resolved.

On the search for mapping out the SPL evolution field, this paper presents a systematic mapping along Kichenham's guidelines [Kitchenham2007]. A systematic mapping study is an evidence-based approach where existing works can be categorized, often giving a visual map of its results. This work presents the outcome of such approach conducted for the literature available up to July, 2015. The overall research questions we aim to answer are the following:

RQ1: What types of research have been reported, to what extent,and how is coverage evolving?

RQ2: Which product-derivation approach received most coverage, and how is coverage evolving?

RQ3: Which kind of SPL asset received more attention, and how is
attention evolving?
RQ4: Which activities of the evolution life-cycle received most coverage, and how is this coverage evolving?

Objectives

Despite its importance, research on SPL evolution has not been previously mapped in order to identify strong areas of knowledge and gaps. This work provides a mapping study along Kichenham's guidelines. We aim at providing a reference for beginners, and identifying potential research opportunities for academics.

Results

We identified 107 relevant contributions. They were subsequently classified according to four facets: evolution activity (i.e., identify change, analyze and plan change, implement change, and verify change), product-derivation approach (i.e., annotation-based, composition-based, clone-based and modeldriven), research type (i.e., solution proposal, opinion paper, experience report, validation research and evaluation research), and asset type (i.e., variability model, SPL architecture, code assets and products).

Conclusion

Analyses of the results indicate that "Solution proposals" are the most common type of contribution (31%). Regarding the evolution activity, "Implement change" (43%) and "Analyze and plan change" (37%) are the most covered ones. A finer-grained analysis uncovered some tasks as being underexposed.A detailed description of the 107 papers is also include.

Get the mapping excel file here

This prototype has not any associated publication.

This prototype has not any associated project.

This prototype has not any associated author.

ONEKIN, UNIVERSITY OF THE BASQUE COUNTRY

University of the basque country