D. Dhungana, I. Groher. Genetics as a Role Model for Software Variability Management. Track on New Ideas and Emerging Results (NIER), 31st International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2009), pp. 239-242, Vancouver, Canada, May, 2009, doi:10.1109/ICSE-COMPANION.2009.5070991
Researchers are often inspired by ingenious problem solving strategies of nature. This paper is motivated by the seemingly infinite expressive power of genes (in terms of variability). To bring in the flexibility required for dealing with variable requirements and volatile assumptions in software engineering, we consider genetic variability to be a role model for software variability management. We exemplify how individual species can be seen as natural product lines. By identifying parallels between software product lines and natural product lines, we present initial ideas for software product line engineering research based on the observation of how “products are created” in nature. We then draw conclusions about the implications for research on software product lines, thereby identifying future research directions.