Visualizations for the evolution of Variant-Rich Systems: A systematic mapping study
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Software product lines
Context: Variant-Rich Systems (VRSs), such as Software Product Lines or variants created through clone & own, aim at reusing existing assets. The long lifespan of families of variants, and the scale of both the code base and the workforce make VRS maintenance and evolution a challenge. Visualization tools are a needed companion. Objective: We aim at mapping the current state of visualization interventions in the area of VRS evolution. We tackle evolution in both functionality and architecture. Three research questions are posed: What sort of analysis is being conducted to assess VRS evolution? (Analysis perspective); What sort of visualizations are displayed? (Visualization perspective); What is the research maturity of the reported interventions? (Maturity perspective). Methods: We performed a systematic mapping study including automated search in digital libraries, expert knowledge, and snowballing. Results: The study reports on 41 visualization approaches to cope with VRS ...