Assisted User-Guidance in Collaborative and Dynamic Software Product Line Configuration

Carlos R. Marques JuniorElder J. R. CiriloCarlos J. P. de Lucena

The product configuration is a key activity for enabling mass customization. It corresponds to tailor a software application from a software product line, respecting individual customer requirements. In practice, the product configuration activity is challenging, mainly because it involves numerous stakeholders with different expertise making decisions. Several works claim to decompose the configuration activity into pre-arranged stages, whereby stakeholders can make their decisions in a separately way and coherent fashion. However, due to the decentralization in geography of the knowledge required in each stage and that customer requirements could be imprecise and change frequently, the proposed solutions do not apply. To address these issues, this paper proposes a dynamic and distributed product configuration approach based on the personal assistant metaphor. Personal assistants in a cooperative way coordinate stakeholder's decisions and proactively perform tasks, such as reasoning about the ramifications of decisions, integrating distributed decisions and resolving divergent requirements. We also present a tool prototype that evaluates the applicability of our approach.

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