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VML* - a family of languages for variability management in software product lines

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Managing variability is a challenging issue in software-product-line engineering. A key part of variability management is the ability to express explicitly the relationship between variability models (expressing the variability in the problem space, for example using feature models) and other artefacts of the product line, for example, requirements models and architecture models. Once these relations have been made explicit, they can be used for a number of purposes, most importantly for product derivation, but also for the generation of trace links or for checking the consistency of a product-line architecture. This paper bootstraps techniques from product-line engineering to produce a family of languages for variability management for easing the creation of new members of the family of languages. We show that developing such language families is feasible and demonstrate the flexibility of our language family by applying it to the development of two variability-management languages.