Keynote Speakers


Sven Apel, University of Passau, Germany

“The New Feature Interaction Challenge”

Abstract: Feature interactions are a major threat to software modularity and impair compositional development and reasoning. A feature interaction occurs when the behavior of one feature is affected by the presence of another feature. Usually, interactions 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 1980s, when the growing number of features led to uncontrolled software complexity and long development cycles. Since then, the problem has been recognized in many other domains—each with its own manifestations, challenges, and possible solutions.

In this talk, I report on our experiences with the feature-interaction problem in different areas and applications. The primary goal is to raise awareness of that the feature-interaction problem is real and worthwhile to study. Furthermore, by means of recent experimental results, I emphasize that there are different types of feature interactions and that these type are related. I close the talk with a call to action to accept and approach the New Feature Interaction Challenge, which is to understand and exploit the different types of feature interactions to build better software (e.g., by developing better tools for feature-interaction testing).

Bio: Prof. Dr. Sven Apel holds the Chair of Software Engineering at the University of Passau, Germany. The chair is funded by the esteemed Emmy-Noether and Heisenberg Programs of the German Research Foundation (DFG). Prof. Apel received his Ph.D. in Computer Science in 2007 from the University of Magdeburg, Germany. His research interests include software product lines, software analysis, optimization, and evolution, as well as empirical methods and the human factor in software engineering. He is the author or co-author of over a hundred peer-reviewed scientific publications. He serves regularly in program committees of top-ranked international conferences, he is member of the editorial boards of IEEE Software and Empirical Software Engineering, and he was program-committee co-chair of the 31st International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE). His work has received awards by the Ernst-Denert Foundation and the Karin-Witte Foundation. Sven Apel is a member of the Young Academy of Europe.


Axel Legay, INRIA, Rennes, France

“On Quantitative Requirements for Product Lines”

Abstract: An important problem in Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) concerns behavioral validation, that is guaranteeing that each product of the SPL satisfies a series of behavioral requirements. Variants of this problem include computing a set of products that do not satisfy the requirements plus a justification. A common approach to assess these requirements consists in building the system and testing it. However, if the system fails to meet the requirements, costly iterations are needed to improve it. This problem is even more crucial in SPLE, where the number of products typically grows exponentially in the number of features. This talk addresses two main challenges in the context of SPL behavioral validation: 1) to offer a compact and efficient way to represent the behavior of products that do share common sub-behaviors, and 2) to find validation algorithms that exploit it in an efficient manner.

Bio: Axel Legay is a researcher at the Institut national de recherche en informatique et en automatique (INRIA Rennes, France). He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Liège, Belgium. His main research interests are in formal verification. He is a founder and major contributor of statistical model checking (a statistical variant of model checking effectively used in industry). He is a referee for top journals and conferences in formal verification.


Wim Couwenberg, Océ, Netherlands

“Variability: the art of (no) change”

Abstract: In this talk I will explore variability in software by example. We will see that variation comes in many guises and encounter delightfully clever techniques that have been devised to master it throughout the history of computer programming. I will discuss some of these techniques that allow Océ controller software to support a wide variety in print engines and configurations. Our profession has come a long way in managing variation. Or has it? Take one step back and a paradoxical pattern appears: variability is mastered best where nothing needs to change.

Bio: Wim Couwenberg obtained a Ph.D. in Mathematics in 1994. Since then has worked for over twenty years in the software industry. Over that period subjects ranged from image processing, CRM systems and building web services to embedded software on DSP processors. At Océ he works as an architect, designer and engineer on the PRISMAsync software that controls a wide range of their cut sheet printers. He designed and implemented mechanisms that handle the large variety in product configurations and print engines to be supported.