06.07.14 - 11.07.14, Seminar 14281

Feature Interactions: The Next Generation

Diese Seminarbeschreibung wurde vor dem Seminar auf unseren Webseiten veröffentlicht und bei der Einladung zum Seminar verwendet.


The feature-interaction problem is a major threat to modularity and impairs compositional development and reasoning. A feature interaction occurs when the behavior of one feature is affected by the presence of another feature; often it cannot be deduced easily from the behaviors of the individual features involved. The feature-interaction problem became a crisis in the telecommunications industry in the late 1980s, and researchers responded with formalisms that enable automatic detection of feature interactions, architectures that avoid classes of interactions, and techniques for resolving interactions at run-time. While this pioneering work was foundational and very successful, it is limited in the sense that it is based on assumptions that hold only for telecommunication systems.

In the meantime, different notions of feature interactions have emerged in different communities, including Internet applications, service systems, adaptive systems, automotive systems, software product lines, requirements engineering, and computational biology. While all instances of the problem are rooted in the nature of modularity and compositionality, the individual views, interpretations, and possible solutions differ considerably. For example, the view on feature interactions taken in program synthesis differs significantly from the view in automotive systems engineering: there are structural vs. behaviour views, static vs. dynamic views, sequential vs. parallel views, functional vs. non-functional, coordinated vs. emergent-behaviour views, and so on. It turns out that feature interactions are a much more general concept than investigated in the past in the context of telecommunication systems; but a classification, comparison, and generalization of the multitude of different views is missing.

The time is ripe to gather researchers and practitioners from different areas of computer science and other disciplines to compare, discuss, and consolidate their views, experience, and domain-specific solutions to the feature-interaction problem. To make progress, we must base scientific discourse on the feature-interaction problem on a broader foundation to be able to join forces of different communities. Can other domains learn from the success of domain-specific solutions for telecommunication systems? Are there key principles, patterns, and strategies to represent, identify, manage, and resolve feature interactions that are domain independent, and useful across domains? Can we develop a unified terminological and conceptual framework for feature-interaction research?

The goals of the seminar are to

  • consolidate and expand the community that addresses the feature-interaction and related problems,
  • aggregate and synchronize current and further research activities,
  • formulate a common research agenda (feature-interaction manifest) that takes a much broader view on the problem than previous work,
  • set up and re-initiate cooperation between academia and industry, and
  • establish an international workshop series or conference track and to plan a special journal issue.