C. Quinton, M. Vierhauser, R. Rabiser, L. Baresi, P. Grünbacher, C. Schuhmayer: Evolution in Dynamic Software Product Lines, Journal of Software: Evolution and Process, June 19, 2020. Doi: 10.1002/smr.2293
Many software systems today provide support for adaptation and reconfiguration at runtime, in response to changes in their environment. Such adaptive systems are designed to run continuously and may not be shut down for reconfiguration or maintenance tasks. The variability of such systems has to be explicitly managed, together with mechanisms that control their runtime adaptation and reconfiguration. Dynamic software product lines (DSPLs) can help to achieve this. However, dealing with evolution is particularly challenging in a DSPL, as changes made at runtime can easily lead to inconsistencies. This paper describes the challenges of evolving DSPLs using an example cyber‐physical system for home automation. We discuss the shortcomings of existing work and present a reference architecture to support DSPL evolution. To demonstrate its feasibility and flexibility, we implemented the proposed reference architecture for two different DSPLs: the aforementioned cyber‐physical system, which uses feature models to describe its variability, and a runtime monitoring infrastructure, which is based on decision models. To assess the industrial applicability of our approach, we also implemented the reference architecture for a real‐world DSPL, an automation software system for injection molding machines. Our results provide evidence on the flexibility, performance, and industrial applicability of our approach.