VM4ModernTech 2021

International Workshop on Variability Management for Modern Technologies

Co-located with SPLC 2021, 6-11 September 2021, Leicester, UK


Variability is an inherent property of software systems that allows developers to deal with the needs of different customers and environments, creating a family of related systems. Variability can be managed in an opportunistic fashion, for example, using clone-and- own, or by employing a systematic approach, for instance, using a software product line (SPL). In the SPL community, variability management has been discussed for systems in various domains, such as defense, avionics, or finance, and for different platforms, such as desktops, web applications, or embedded systems. Unfortunately, other research communities—particularly those working on modern technologies, such as microservice architectures, cyber-physical systems, robotics, cloud computing, autonomous driving, or ML/AI- based systems—are less aware of the state-of-the-art in variability management, which is why they face similar problems and start to redeveloped the same solutions as the SPL community already did. This workshop aims to foster and strengthen synergies between the communities researching variability management and modern technologies. More precisely, we intend to attract researchers and practitioners to contribute processes, techniques, tools, empirical studies, and problem descriptions or solutions that are related to reuse and variability management for modern technologies. By inviting different communities and establishing collaborations be- tween them, we hope that the workshop can raise the interest of researchers outside the SPL community for variability management, and thus reduce the extent of costly redevelopments in research.


VM4ModernTech 2021 will be held as a workshop at SPLC 2021.


We are happy to announce that Dr. Antonio Bucchiarone agreed to give a keynote presentation on the topic of:

"Variability and Adaptability in Socio-Technical Systems"

Abstract: A key challenge posed by modern technologies is that software applications need to cope with open and continuously evolving environments and to operate under dynamic circumstances (e.g., changes in the users requirements, changes in the availability of resources). Indeed, dynamically discover, select and adapt the appropriate functionalities in such environment is a challenging task. Self-adaptation approaches represent effective instruments to tackle this issue, because they allow applications to adapt their behaviours based on their execution environment. Unfortunately, although existing approaches support run-time adaptation, they tend to foresee the adaptation requirements and related solutions at design-time, while working under a "closed-world" assumption. In this keynote the objective is to present a way of approaching the design, operation and run-time adaptation of socio-technical systems, by considering the variability and adaptability as intrinsic characteristics of applications and from the earliest stages of their development. I will introduce a set of approaches I developed in the last years to manage the complete lifecycle for the continuous development and deployment of modern applications, by facilitating (i) the continuous integration of new functionality/requirement that can easily be managed at runtime, and (ii) the operation of applications under dynamic circumstances, to face the openness and dynamicity of the environment. The proposed approaches will be introduces exploiting various socio-technical systems in the field of Service-based applications, Microservices, Gamified Systems, Smart Mobility, etc..

Short Bio: Antonio Bucchiarone is currently a Senior Researcher at the Motivational Digital Systems (MoDiS) research unit of the Bruno Kessler Foundation (FBK) in Trento, Italy. His research activity is focused principally on many aspects of the Software Engineering for Adaptive Socio-Technical Systems. In the last 12 years, he has investigated advanced methodologies and techniques supporting the definition, development, and management of distributed systems that operate in dynamic environments, where being adaptable is a key intrinsic characteristic.

His main research topics include: Self-Adaptive (Collective) Systems, Domain Specific Languages for Socio-Technical System, and AI planning techniques for Automatic and Runtime Service Composition. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca in 2008 and since 2004 he has been a collaborator of Formal Methods and Tools Group at ISTI-CNR of Pisa (Italy). He has been actively involved in various European research projects in the field of Self-Adaptive Systems, Smart Mobility and Constructions and Service-Oriented Computing. He was the General Chair of the 12th IEEE International Conference on Self-Adaptive and Self Organizing Systems (SASO 2018) and he is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems (T-ITS) Journal, the IEEE Software Journal and the IEEE Technology and Society Magazine.

In 2018, he started a new research topic in his research group on Gamified Software Modeling with the objective to define methods, theories, and tools to bound gameful mechanisms to existing software applications and create gamified scenarios in Software Engineering. In this way, potential adopters are only required to define the game elements and how they should be combined, while the remaining game automation part is obtained for free. Interestingly, this research line has the objective not only simplifies the adoption of gamification elements in pre-existing software applications, but it also discloses the opportunity of enhancing the engineering of gameful applications as well as the management of the combination of multiple games.

Accepted Papers

  • Gökhan Kahraman and Loek Cleophas. Automated Derivation of Variants in Manufacturing Systems Design

  • Joaquin Ballesteros and Lidia Fuentes. Transfer Learning for Multiobjective Optimization Algorithms supporting Dynamic Software Product Lines

  • Marcus Pinnecke. Product-Lining the Elinvar WealthTech Microservice Platform


VM4ModernTech will be held Monday, 6 September 2021. We will provide a more detailed schedule later on.

Presentation Guidelines



Please register via the SPLC 2021 registration system for the workshop.

Note that participation for non-speakers is free if you have an active ACM membership.

Topics and Goals

We encourage submissions that push the state-of-the-art in research and practice of variability management in the following domains (but not limited to):

  • Automotive software

  • Autonomous driving

  • Bots in software engineering

  • Cloud computing

  • Cyber-physical systems

  • Internet of things

  • (Micro-)service architectures

  • ML/AI-based systems

  • Robotics

How to Submit

Important Dates

The important dates (AoE) for the workshop are aligned with the general workshop due dates of SPLC 2021:

  • Workshop papers submission: June 11, 2021

  • Workshop papers notification: June 29, 2021

  • Final version of papers (camera ready): July 9, 2021

All these times are AoE.

Submission Guidelines

The workshop seeks submissions of different types and degrees of maturity in order to be inclusive of both researchers and practitioners and provide a lively platform for discussion also for early concepts and ideas.

Submissions must follow the 2019 ACM Master Article Template: https://www.acm.org/publications/proceedings-template

Latex users are indicated to use the “sigconf” option, so they are recommended to use the template that can be found in “sample-sigconf.tex”. In this way, the following latex code can be placed at the start of the latex document:


Submission link: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=splc2021

Paper Categories (Maturity of Presented Work)

Papers submissions can be

  • Regular papers of up to 8 (+2 for references only) pages that present original research or industrial experiences.

  • Short papers of 4 (+2 for references only) pages that present sound new ideas, preliminary findings, or research visions.

All submission will be peer-reviewed by at least three program committee members. All accepted submissions, regardless of their level of maturity, will be given a presentation slot at the workshop.

The workshop does NOT follow a double-blind review process.


Organizing Committee

  • Wesley K. G. Assunção (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

  • Inmaculada Ayala (Universidad de Málaga, Spain)

  • Jacob Krüger (Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany)

  • Sébastien Mosser (Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada)

Program Committee

  • Benjamin Benni (University Cote d'Azur)

  • Francis Bordeleau (University of Québec)

  • Lidia Fuentes (University of Málaga)

  • Thomas Leich (Harz University of Applied Sciences)

  • José Miguel Horcas Aguilera (University of Málaga)

  • Daniel Strüber (Radboud University Nijmegen)

  • Rick Rabiser (Johannes Kepler University Linz)

  • Sandro Schulze (University of Potsdam)

  • Hui Song (SINTEF ICT)

  • Davide Taibi (Tampere University of Technology)

  • Cristina Vicente-Chicote (University of Extremadura)


For further questions about the workshop, feel free to contact the workshop organizers:

Wesley K. G. Assunção, Inmaculada Ayala, Jacob Krüger, Sébastien Mosser