Special Issue

Software Variability in Dynamic Environments

Software variability management is a major challenge for modeling and building modern system families. An important precondition for the effective and efficient management of variability is that it must be explicitly modelled. With variability modelling coming of age, it is important to consider also non-functional properties of variable software systems. Nowadays, the role of context information is more and more important for changing environments where many smart devices (e.g., mobile phones IoT devices, wireless sensors, etc.) exploit context and location awareness properties to deal with the unforeseen events. In this light, critical systems, such as robots or smart vehicles, require advanced runtime reconfiguration and self-adaptive capabilities to deal with unpredictable situations and hazards.

In other cases, systems must be reconfigured and re-deployed at post-deployment time reducing the burden of human operation, and the variability of different configurable options must be managed with minimal human intervention. Emerging approaches such as Dynamic Software Product Lines attempt to cater the need for managing the system options dynamically at post-deployment time as an evolution of more traditional mechanisms like the MAPE-K loop. In addition, other timely problems such as mining and reverse engineering variability models from existing families of similar hardware-software products or the identification of security concerns in embedded systems that need to deal with different scenarios (e.g., security in smart cars software) are important challenges for modern software variability approaches. Additionally, the complexity and possible impact of dynamic environments and contexts in DSPLs, goes far beyond existing approaches and tools for mastering variability modeling, thus requiring novel solutions such as deep learning techniques

We invite to this special issue high-quality contributions with innovative and significant findings and experiences in the field of software variability in dynamic environments. We accept as submissions original and previously unpublished papers as well as extended versions of papers presented at the 12th International Workshop on Variability Modelling of Software-Intensive Systems (VAMOS 2018).

  • Quality properties in dynamic variability models
  • Managing runtime variability at post-deployment time
  • Software variability and approaches to represent and manage context knowledge
  • Managing variability at post-deployment time
  • Refactoring and evolution of variable software systems
  • Variability in complex systems of systems using sensors
  • Variability constraint checking at runtime
  • Multiple binding modes for critical systems
  • Reasoning about context changes and system options at runtime
  • Adding IoT devices and connecting to services dynamically (e.g, smart cities, smart cars)
  • Deep learning” for (D)SPL engineering and context-aware adaptivity
  • Reverse engineering and variability extraction/mining approaches
  • Security concerns in (D)SPL engineering (e.g., in automotive software)



  • P. Avgeriou and D. Shepherd



  • W.K. Chan


Guest Editors


Important dates

  • Paper submissions: April 20, 2018
  • Notification: November 12, 2018


Submission Guidelines

All submitted papers should follow the guidelines for publishing in the Journal of Systems and Software and be prepared according to the Guide for Authors http://ees.elsevier.com/jss. When submitting papers via the on-line submission system, the authors should choose an article type from the pull-down menu. Please select VSI:VAMOS2018 that indicates that you are submitting to the special issue.

Papers should be between 15 to 20 pages in the final publication format and must be original, must not have been previously published or be under consideration for publication elsewhere. In case a paper has been already presented at a conference, it should be extended by at least 30% new technical contributions, before submitted for this special issue.



Submissions will be reviewed by at least three experts in the field. Primary evaluation criteria are: high-quality of the submission, innovative aspects to the domain of software architecture, practical application of the proposed idea, and thorough evaluation. The guest editors in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief and the Special Issues Editor will make final decisions.