Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Computer Science

First Advisor

Robyn R. Lutz


Software product lines are widely used due to their advantageous reuse of shared features while still allowing optional and alternative features in the individual products. In high-integrity product lines such as pacemakers, flight control systems, and medical imaging systems, ensuring that common and variable safety requirements hold as each new product is built or existing products are evolved is key to the safe operations of those systems.

However, this goal is currently hampered by the complexity of identifying the interactions among common and variable features that may undermine system safety. This is largely due to (1) the fact that the available safety analysis techniques lack sufficient support for analyzing the combined effects of different features, and (2) existing techniques for identifying feature interactions do not adequately accommodate the presence of common features and results in repeated checking across different products.

The work described here addresses the first problem by systematically exploring the relationships between behavioral variations and potential hazardous states through scenario guided executions of the state model over the variations. It contributes to a solution to the second problem by generating formal obligations at the interfaces between features, so that sequentially composed features can be verified in a way that allows reuse for subsequent products.

The main contributions of this work are an approach to perform safety analysis on the variations in a product line using state-based modeling, a tool-supported technique that guides and manages the generation of model-checkable properties from product-line requirements, and a formal framework for model checking product-line features that removes restrictions on how the features can be sequentially composed. The techniques and their implementations are demonstrated in the context of a medical-device product line.


Copyright Owner

Jing Liu



Date Available


File Format


File Size

132 pages