Liu, C; Macedo, N; Cunha, A;
Dependable Software Engineering. Theories, Tools, and Applications - 5th International Symposium, SETTA 2019, Shanghai, China, November 27-29, 2019, Proceedings
Formal modeling and automatic analysis are essential to achieve a trustworthy software design prior to its implementation. Alloy and its Analyzer are a popular language and tool for this task. Frequently, rather than a single software artifact, the goal is to develop a full software product line (SPL) with many variants supporting different features. Ideally, software design languages and tools should provide support for analyzing all such variants (e.g., by helping pinpoint combinations of features that could break a property), but that is not currently the case. Even when developing a single artifact, support for multi-variant analysis is desirable to explore design alternatives. Several techniques have been proposed to simplify the implementation of SPLs. One such technique is to use background colors to identify the fragments of code associated with each feature. In this paper we propose to use that same technique for formal design, showing how to add support for features and background colors to Alloy and its Analyzer, thus easing the analysis of software design variants. Some illustrative examples and evaluation results are presented, showing the benefits and efficiency of the implemented technique. © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019.
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