Finding Suitable Variability Abstractions for Family-Based Analysis

Aleksandar Dimovski, Claus Brabrand, Andrzej Wasowski

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


For program families (Software Product Lines), specially designed variability-aware static (dataflow) analyses allow analyzing all variants (products) of the family, simultaneously, in a single run without generating any of the variants explicitly. They are also known as lifted or family-based analyses. The variability-aware analyses may be too costly or even infeasible for families with a large number of variants. In order to make them computationally cheaper, we can apply variability abstractions which aim to tame the combinatorial explosion of the number of variants (configurations) and reduce it to something more tractable. % by manipulating the configuration space of the family. However, the number of possible abstractions is still intractably large to search naively, with most abstractions being too imprecise or too costly.

In this work, we propose a technique to efficiently find suitable variability abstractions from a large family of abstractions for a variability-aware static analysis. The idea is to use a pre-analysis to estimate the impact of variability-specific parts of the program family on the analysis's precision. Then we use the pre-analysis results to find out when and where the analysis should turn off or on its variability-awareness. We demonstrate the practicality of this approach on several Java benchmarks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFM 2016: Formal Methods : 21st International Symposium, Limassol, Cyprus, November 9-11, 2016, Proceedings
EditorsJohn S. Fitzgerald, Constance L. Heitmeyer, Stefania Gnesi, Anna Philippou
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationLimassol, Cyprus, November 9-11, 2016
Publication date8 Nov 2016
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-48988-9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-48989-6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2016
EventInternational Symposium on Formal Methods - St. Raphael Resort, Limassol, Cyprus
Duration: 9 Nov 201611 Nov 2016
Conference number: 21


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Formal Methods
LocationSt. Raphael Resort
Internet address
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • Program Families
  • Static Program Analysis
  • Abstract Interpretation


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