From Comparison Matrix to
Variability Model
The Wikipedia Case Study
Presented at Automated Software Engineering (ASE’13) ...
Product Comparison Matrix (PCM)

Product
Author

First Name

Last Name

Age

Nat.

Ph.D.?

Posit.

Affil.

Spoken
Lang

Ni...
ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM.

-3
ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM.

-4
#1 This is a Product Comparison Matrix (PCM)

ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM.

-5
#2 This is a Product Comparison Matrix (PCM)

ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM.

-6
#3 This is a Product Comparison Matrix (PCM)

ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM.

-7
Promises of Product Comparison Matrices (PCMs)
+ Intuitive and easy to
understand
+ Convenient for
comparing, input for
co...
Issues and Challenges
Product Comparison Matrices (PCMs)

- Heterogeneous information
- As the PCM grows up
“more is less”...
Issues and Challenges
Product Comparison Matrices (PCMs)

- Heterogeneous information
- As the PCM grows up
“more is less”...
Understanding PCMs
RQ1 What kind information
is presented in PCMs?
Syntax?
Semantics?
Variability patterns?

RQ2 What is t...
The Wikipedia case study
•  Open community
•  One of the most important analyzable repository of PCMs
•  300+ PCMs

•  Mul...
Research Methodology

•  #0 Extraction of all
381 Wikipedia pages
entitled “Comparison of …”
•  #1 A preliminary analysis ...
Qualitative Analysis: 8 Variability Patterns

1.  Boolean yes/no answers
2.  Partial/constrained yes/no answers
3.  Single...
Automatically Analysis of 300+ Wikipedia PCMs

ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM.

- 15
Variability Patterns: Quantitative Results
Information type

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Qualitative analysis

47.29%

3.71%

22....
Research Directions
Bridging the Gap
between Product Comparison Matrices (PCMs) and Variability Models (VMs)

Contributors...
Compare and Choose your Answerer!
PCM-driven of course
Look at the Author Comparison Matrix and Choose

Ask your questions...
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Product Comparison Matrix (PCM), Variability Modeling: The Wikipedia Case Study

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Product comparison matrices (PCMs) provide a
convenient way to document the discriminant features of a family of related products and now abound on the internet. Despite their apparent simplicity, the information present in existing PCMs can be very heterogeneous, partial, ambiguous, hard to exploit by users who desire to choose an appropriate product. Variability Models (VMs) can be employed to formulate in a more precise way the semantics of PCMs and enable automated reasoning such as assisted configuration. Yet, the gap between PCMs and VMs should be precisely understood and automated techniques should support the transition between the two. In this paper, we propose
variability patterns that describe PCMs content and conduct an empirical analysis of 300+ PCMs mined from Wikipedia. Our findings are a first step toward better engineering techniques for maintaining and configuring PCMs.

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Product Comparison Matrix (PCM), Variability Modeling: The Wikipedia Case Study

  1. 1. From Comparison Matrix to Variability Model The Wikipedia Case Study Presented at Automated Software Engineering (ASE’13) conference Product Author First Name Last Name Age Nat. Ph.D.? Posit. Affil. Spoken Lang Nicolas Sannier 32 French soon PhD Student, Future Postdoc? Inria French, English, Reunion Isl. creole Mathieu Acher 29 French Yes Associate Prof. University of Rennes 1, Inria, IRISA French, English Benoit Baudry - French Yes Research Scientist, Head of Triskell team Inria French, English
  2. 2. Product Comparison Matrix (PCM) Product Author First Name Last Name Age Nat. Ph.D.? Posit. Affil. Spoken Lang Nicolas Sannier 32 French soon PhD Student, Future Postdoc? Inria French, English, Reunion Isl. creole Delayed with a cancelled plane Mathieu Acher 29 French Yes Associate Prof. University of Rennes 1, Inria, IRISA French, English Benoit Baudry - French Yes Research Scientist, Head of Triskell team Inria French, English Not available Compare and Choose your Product Speaker
  3. 3. ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. -3
  4. 4. ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. -4
  5. 5. #1 This is a Product Comparison Matrix (PCM) ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. -5
  6. 6. #2 This is a Product Comparison Matrix (PCM) ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. -6
  7. 7. #3 This is a Product Comparison Matrix (PCM) ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. -7
  8. 8. Promises of Product Comparison Matrices (PCMs) + Intuitive and easy to understand + Convenient for comparing, input for configuring + Rich source of information and knowledge ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. -8
  9. 9. Issues and Challenges Product Comparison Matrices (PCMs) - Heterogeneous information - As the PCM grows up “more is less” - Lack of Formalization - No Automated Support - Guidance capabilities - Ad-hoc PCMs ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. -9
  10. 10. Issues and Challenges Product Comparison Matrices (PCMs) - Heterogeneous information - As the PCM grows up “more is less” - Lack of Formalization - No Automated Support - Guidance capabilities - Ad-hoc PCMs ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. - 10
  11. 11. Understanding PCMs RQ1 What kind information is presented in PCMs? Syntax? Semantics? Variability patterns? RQ2 What is the gap between PCMs and Variability Models? Related work •  Extensive work on spreadsheets •  •  But PCMs are specific spreadsheets Reverse engineering variability models •  Other artefacts (She et al. ICSE’11, Czarnecki et al. SPLC’07, Abbas et al. CSMR’14) •  Boolean PCMs (Haslinger et al. FASE’13, Davril et al. FSE’13) ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. - 11
  12. 12. The Wikipedia case study •  Open community •  One of the most important analyzable repository of PCMs •  300+ PCMs •  Multiple domains, multiple concerns, large PCMs ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. - 12
  13. 13. Research Methodology •  #0 Extraction of all 381 Wikipedia pages entitled “Comparison of …” •  #1 A preliminary analysis of some PCMs (variability patterns definition) •  #2 A Qualitative analysis of randomly selected 50 PCMs •  #3 A Quantitative analysis of all extracted Wikipedia PCMs ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. - 13
  14. 14. Qualitative Analysis: 8 Variability Patterns 1.  Boolean yes/no answers 2.  Partial/constrained yes/no answers 3.  Single-value answers 4.  Multiple values answers 5.  “Unknown” answers 6.  Empty cells 7.  Inconsistent cells 8.  Additional / Extra information ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. - 14
  15. 15. Automatically Analysis of 300+ Wikipedia PCMs ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. - 15
  16. 16. Variability Patterns: Quantitative Results Information type 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Qualitative analysis 47.29% 3.71% 22.75% 4.37% 10.86% 4.83% 0.55% 5.64% Quantitative analysis •  1 49.4 % 0.8% 20.4% 15.1% 7.5% 6.8% - - Results •  75-80% of the PCMs content is manageable as usual by variability constructs •  20-25% remaining represent uncertainty or numerical values •  Calls for more research for modeling and reasoning about variability ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. 1.  Boolean yes/no answers 2.  Partial/constrained yes/no answers 3.  Single-value answers 4.  Multiple values answers 5.  “Unknown” answers 6.  Empty cells 7.  Inconsistent cells 8.  Additional / Extra information - 16
  17. 17. Research Directions Bridging the Gap between Product Comparison Matrices (PCMs) and Variability Models (VMs) Contributors (writers) No more ad-hoc PCMs PCMs should be easier to create and maintain Hopefully a non intrusive solution, interoperable with Wikipedia End users (readers) Manageable information Better readability Better services Developers (readers and writers) Enabling analysis tools of PCMs (e.g., synthesis of variability models) Long term, more global vision: Generating product comparators and configurators from variability models and PCMs Note: VMs act as a formal representation of PCMs and intermediates before devising configurators/comparators/* VMs are not an end-user solution to visualize the PCM ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. - 17
  18. 18. Compare and Choose your Answerer! PCM-driven of course Look at the Author Comparison Matrix and Choose Ask your questions ;-) Product Author First Name Last Name Age Nat. Ph.D.? Posit. Affil. Spoken Lang Nicolas Sannier 32 French soon PhD Student, Future Postdoc? Inria French, English, Reunion Isl. creole Delayed with a cancelled plane Mathieu Acher 29 French Yes Associate Prof. University of Rennes 1, Inria, IRISA French, English Benoit Baudry - French Yes Research Scientist, Head of Triskell team Inria French, English Not available ASE'2013 - Sannier, Acher and Baudry - From PCM to VM. - 18

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