Understanding Software Variability Modeling

22.10.2015, 15:00 – 16:30

2015/10/22 15:00-16:30

Speaker: Thorsten Berger | Location: Hochschulstraße 10 (S2|02), Piloty Building, Room B002, Darmstadt

Organizer: Sarah Nadi


Customization is a general trend in society. An ever-increasing diversity of hardware and many new application scenarios for software -- such as cyber-physical systems -- demand software systems that support variable stakeholder requirements. Such variant-rich systems are most common in domains such as automotive/avionics/power-electronics control systems, software ecosystems (e.g., Android apps), systems software (e.g., OS kernels), or embedded databases.

Variability in such systems adds substantial complexity. Modeling variability in so-called feature or decision models is one of the most effective means to tackle this complexity.

In the talk, I will provide an overview of variability-modeling techniques and their application in commercial and open-source software. I will discuss the domains in which variability modeling is effective, what kinds of modeling concepts are commonly used, what the properties of real-world models are, how models evolve, and what challenges of variability modeling are faced by industry. Time permitting, I will also discuss the application of variability-modeling concepts in the area of software ecosystems, such as Android.

Short Bio

Thorsten Berger is an Assistant Professor in Software Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. His research focuses on model-driven software engineering, program analysis, and empirical software engineering. He develops methods and tools for engineering highly configurable software, primarily in the domain of safety-critical, embedded systems. Thorsten Berger received the PhD degree in computer science from the University of Leipzig in Germany in 2013, supported by a scholarship from the German National Academic Foundation.

He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Waterloo in Canada and the IT University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He participated in research projects funded by the European Union, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Automotive Partnership Canada, and the Ontario Research Fund for Academic Excellence. He published in major software-engineering conferences (e.g., ICSE, ASE, OOPSLA) and journals (e.g., IEEE TSE, IEEE Software) and received best-paper awards at the 2015 ACM SIGPLAN conference on MODULARITY and the 2013 European Conference on Software Maintenance and Reengineering (CSMR, now IEEE SANER).