Worshop Overview

In applying multi-dimensional separation of concerns, the composition of carefully separated concerns is an important issue. The time at which concern composition is applied can vary depending on the concrete approach at hand. Aspect-oriented techniques have extensively been used to enable variability in software product lines, where features are usually composed at build time. Likewise, run-time composition has been investigated, enabling dynamic aspect weaving, recomposition and reconfiguration. Using context-oriented programming, dynamic feature variation is used to react to environmental changes and events in a way statically controlled by the programming language. This workshop constitutes a forum for researchers working on tools and techniques to support the aforementioned composition stages, potential implementation and optimization approaches as well as formalization and verification techniques.

Worshop Goals

Targeted Audience

Researchers and practitioners concerned with software variability management and composition techniques, in particular those that improve modularity (AOSD'11 special focus). Despite this year's special theme, all contributions that fall within the realm of software variability and composition are encouraged.

Topics of Interest

The workshop is aimed at fostering cross-fertilization of the following areas, always with a view to addressing early and late software variability and composition:

Workshop Format

This full-day workshop is aimed at stimulating the interaction between participants, to make the event a true workshop session, rather than a mini-conference. The workshop will therefore consist of two similar sessions, each session starting with a paper presentation and subsequent lightning talks, followed by a short plenary discussion to identify topics of interest, and then in-depth breakout group activities based on those topics. Within each breakout group, which could have as little as two people, and as much as the whole audience, all sorts of activities are encouraged: discussions, coding sessions, demonstrations, tutorials, etc. The workshop will be drawn to a close with a last plenary session presenting the conclusions of each group.


Short papers

Attendees are invited to submit a regular paper (max. 5 pages) or a short position paper (max. 2 pages). Contributions of various kinds are possible, including technical papers, descriptions of work in progress, and statements of well-argued ideas. The papers will be evaluated based on originality, relevance, technical quality and presentation by the workshop program committee and other reviewers they might appoint.

Submissions must conform to the ACM SIG Proceedings guidelines. All accepted papers will appear on the workshop website prior to the workshop date, to let attendees prepare their participation. Additionally, accepted regular papers will be published in the ACM Digital Library and included in the electronic conference proceedings of AOSD'11, provided that such papers are not published or considered for publication elsewhere.

Paper submissions and reviews are managed through Easychair. Those who have no Easychair account are invited to first create one.

Participation abstracts

Attendees are invited to submit an abstract of their lightning talk, which showcases a research idea, position statement, work in progress, coding session, technical description, tool demonstration, or any other material that can enable interaction with other workshop participants.

To be accepted, contributions should fall within the scope of the workshop and have a minimum quality level, which will be enforced by the program and organizing committees. Submitted abstracts must not exceed 1 page of maximum 500 words (not including bibliography).

Accepted participation abstracts will appear on the workshop website prior to the workshop date, to let attendees prepare. Submitted material will not be disseminated in any other way.

Participation abstracts can be sent in PDF format

Important Dates

Short papers

Participation abstracts

All dates are in Apia, Samoa time



The linked material is made available to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders.

9:00 Welcome [slides]
9:15 Paper presentation [slides]
Configuration Knowledge of Software Product Lines: A Comprehensibility Study by Cirilo et al.
9:45 Lightning talk [slides]
Assessing Advanced Composition Mechanisms for the Integration of Software Product Lines by Gurgel et al.
10:00 Lightning talk [slides]
A Process to Evolve Frameworks into Product Lines Using Aspect-Oriented Programming by Oliveira et al.
10:15 Lightning talk [slides]
Liberating Composition from Language Dictatorship through First-class Composition by Bockisch and Bergmans
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 Paper presentation [slides]
Invasive composition for the evolution of a health information system by Mejía et al.
11:30 Lightning talk [slides]
Model-Based Refactoring for Generating Aspect-Oriented Class Models from Annotated OO Class Models by Parreira et al.
11:45 Lightning talk [slides]
Investigating Testing Approaches for Dynamically Adaptive Systems by Ferrari et al.
12:00 Work slot
12:30 Lunch
14:00 Invited talk [see recording of same talk at HPI]
Better Science Through Art by Richard P. Gabriel
15:00 Work slot
15:30 Coffee break
16:00 Invited talk [slides]
From Module-Based to Aspect-Oriented Programming: What Did We Do Wrong? by Mehmet Aşkit
17:00 Work slot
17:15 Wrap up
17:30 End
18:00 Workshop dinner

Work slots are meant for plenary discussions, break-out group work, spontaneous presentations and demonstrations, and any other activity that might be proposed in relation to the ideas presented throughout the day.

Invited talks

From Module-Based to Aspect-Oriented Programming: What Did We Do Wrong?

Prof. Mehmet Akşit
Chair Software Engineering
University of Twente
Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: Since 1980's, abstract data type (ADT) or module-based separation of concerns has been considered to be the default structuring principle for complex systems. Properly designed modules make the complexity of software manageable, increase reuse and enable incremental verification of software. In addition, object-oriented programming (OOP) as exemplified by Java for example, provides hierarchical composition of classes, which fosters abstraction and reuse. However, In 1990's it has been observed that it is difficult or even impossible to abstract certain kinds of behavior of software using hierarchical composition of modules because of code tangling and scattering. Examples of such behavior are monitoring, security, synchronization and error handling. To be able to structure such behavior, different kinds of techniques have been proposed, such as patterns, reflection and open implementations, generative programming. model-driven engineering and aspect-oriented programming (AOP). In particular AOP languages offer flexible ways in non-hierarchical composition of modules. This talk will elaborate on these approaches and identify their problems. The talk will further discuss on the assumptions that probably misguided the researchers. In particular we will focus on the desired first-class abstractions of the languages and argue that the concept of events, actions and compositions should outline the boundaries of computational units of languages.

Short biograhpy: Mehmet Akşit holds an M.Sc. degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Twente. Currently, he is working as a full professor at the Department of Computer Science, University of Twente and affiliated with the institute Centre for Telematics and Information Technology. He has summarized his vision under the following article:
The 7 C’s for Creating Living Software: A Research Perspective for Quality-Oriented Software Engineering

Better Science Through Art

Dr. Richard P. Gabriel
Distinguished Engineer, IBM Research

Abstract: Common wisdom says that science and art are entirely different beasts; moreover, a similar source of wisdom tells us that science is valuable to society while art is a luxury. Why else would schools drop art from their curricula over the past 20 years? But artists and scientists approach their work in similar if not identical ways.

Short biography: Richard P. Gabriel (Ph.D., Stanford University, 1981; MFA Creative Writing (Poetry), Warren Wilson College, 1998; ACM Fellow) does programming language, creativity and software engineering research at IBM Research. He is the author of five books. He played lead guitar in a rock'n'roll band for 20 years.


Organizing committee

Program committee


See other editions of the workshop.