M.Sc. Paul Maximilian Bittner

Tracing features to their corresponding implementation in a software project is the main focus of my work. I investigate how feature-to-code mappings may be recorded during development, how mappings may evolve, and how we can synchronize mappings across divering forks, branches, or code clones in general. Within the research project VariantSync, Alexander Schultheiß and me are striving towards making software product-line technology easier to adopt, in particular in clone-and-own development.

Anything of your interest? Don't hesitate to contact me.

Research Projects

Automating the Synchronization of Software Variants

Teaching

Lecture Exercises and Projects

Software Product Lines: Exercise Instructor

Software Engineering Project: VariantSync

Software Product Lines: Exercise Instructor

Software Product Lines: Exercise Instructor

Featured Publications

Feature Trace Recording


Feature trace recording is a semi-automated method for recording feature-to-code mappings during software development. It uses evolution as a source of information for feature location.

Feature Trace Recording Example

Consider a developer Alice editing the pop method of a Stack class in Java as depicted in the image above. Feature-to-code mappings are indicated by corresponding colours. By labeling her edits with the feature she edits, we derive feature mappings for edited source code. We refer to such a label as feature context. It can be left empty when developers do not know the feature they edit. In our example, Alice does not know the feature of the moved line in her second edit and omits the feature context (i.e., sets it to null). From feature contexts we can compute feature mappings for the current code base but also for other variants. Assume there is a second developer, Bob, working on another variant (e.g., branch or fork) of the software. Bob’s variant might implement other features than Alice’s. Assume Bob’s variant implements the blue feature SafeStack but not the orange feature ImmutableStack. Bob's Recorded Feature Traces Although Alice made many edits to ImmutableStack, we can still derive feature mappings for Bob’s code. When Alice deletes code from ImmutableStack, we can infer that this code does not belong to ImmutableStack anymore. We thus introduce the new feature mapping ¬ImmutableStack for the deleted code that is still present in Bob’s variant (highlighted in purple in the image on the right).

Feature trace recording is the first step towards our vision for bridging the gap between clone-and-own and software product lines in our project VariantSync. You may read about it in our ICSE NIER paper or watch our talk on YouTube.

Academic Service

I served as a (sub-)reviewer for

  • Journals: TSE;  SoSyM
  • Conferences: GPCE'21; SPLC '21, '20; VaMoS'22, '21

2023

22.
Sundermann, Chico; Heß, Tobias; Nieke, Michael; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Young, Jeffrey M.; Thüm, Thomas; Schaefer, Ina
Evaluating #SAT Solvers on Industrial Feature Models (Journal Extension)
Empirical Software Engineering (EMSE) (To Appear)
2023
Publisher: Springer

2022

21.
Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Tinnes, Christof; Schultheiß, Alexander; Viegener, Sören; Kehrer, Timo; Thüm, Thomas
Classifying Edits to Variability in Source Code
Proc. Europ. Software Engineering Conf./Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE)
Publisher: ACM, New York, NY, USA
November 2022
DOI:10.1145/3540250.3549108
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2022/2022-ESECFSE-Bittner.pdf
20.
Schultheiß, Alexander; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Boll, Alexander; Grunske, Lars; Thüm; Kehrer, Timo
RaQuN: A Generic and Scalable N-Way Model Matching Algorithm
Software and System Modeling (SoSyM)
November 2022
Publisher: Springer
DOI:10.1007/s10270-022-01062-5
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2022/2022-SoSyM-Schultheiss.pdf
19.
Young, Jeffrey M.; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Walkingshaw, Eric; Thüm, Thomas
Variational Satisfiability Solving: Efficiently Solving Lots of Related SAT Problems
Empirical Software Engineering (EMSE)
November 2022
Publisher: Springer
DOI:10.1007/s10664-022-10217-3
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2022/2022-EMSE-Young.pdf
18.
Schultheiß, Alexander; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Thüm, Thomas; Kehrer, Timo
Quantifying the Potential to Automate the Synchronization of Variants in Clone-and-Own
Proc. Int'l Conf. on Software Maintenance and Evolution (ICSME) (To Appear)
Publisher: IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA
October 2022
17.
Linsbauer, Lukas; Westphal, Paul; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Krieter, Sebastian; Thüm, Thomas; Schaefer, Ina
Derivation of Subset Product Lines in FeatureIDE
Proc. Int'l Systems and Software Product Line Conf. (SPLC), Page 38-41
Publisher: ACM, New York, NY, USA
September 2022
DOI:10.1145/3503229.3547033
ISBN:9781450392068
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2022/2022-SPLC-Linsbauer.pdf
16.
Schultheiß, Alexander; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; El-Sharkawy, Sascha; Thüm, Thomas; Kehrer, Timo
Simulating the Evolution of Clone-and-Own Projects with VEVOS
Proc. Int'l Conf. on Evaluation Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE), Page 231-236
Publisher: ACM, New York, NY, USA
June 2022
DOI:10.1145/3530019.3534084
ISBN:9781450396134
File:https://doi.org/10.1145/3530019.3534084
15.
Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Schultheiß, Alexander; Thüm, Thomas; Kehrer, Timo; Young, Jeffrey M.; Linsbauer, Lukas
Feature Trace Recording - Summary
Proc. Software Engineering (SE), Page 19-20
Publisher: Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn, Germany
February 2022
DOI:10.18420/se2022-ws-002
File:https://doi.org/10.18420/se2022-ws-002
14.
Schultheiß, Alexander; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Thüm, Thomas; Kehrer, Timo
Scalable N-Way Model Matching Using Multi-Dimensional Search Trees - Summary
Proc. Software Engineering (SE), Page 83-84
Publisher: Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn, Germany
February 2022
DOI:10.18420/se2022-ws-028
File:https://doi.org/10.18420/se2022-ws-028

2021

13.
Schultheiß, Alexander; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Grunske, Lars; Thüm, Thomas; Kehrer, Timo
Scalable N-Way Model Matching Using Multi-Dimensional Search Trees
Proc. Int'l Conf. on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MODELS), Page 1-12
Publisher: IEEE, Washington, DC, USA
October 2021
DOI:10.1109/MODELS50736.2021.00010
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2021/2021-MODELS-Schultheiss.pdf
12.
Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Schultheiß, Alexander; Thüm, Thomas; Kehrer, Timo; Young, Jeffrey M.; Linsbauer, Lukas
Feature Trace Recording
Proc. Europ. Software Engineering Conf./Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), Page 1007-1020
Publisher: ACM, New York, NY, USA
August 2021
DOI:10.1145/3468264.3468531
ISBN:9781450385626
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2021/2021-ESECFSE-Bittner.pdf
11.
Kehrer, Timo; Thüm, Thomas; Schultheiß, Alexander; Bittner, Paul Maximilian
Bridging the Gap Between Clone-and-Own and Software Product Lines
Proc. Int'l Conf. on Software Engineering (ICSE), Page 21-25
Publisher: IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA
May 2021
DOI:10.1109/ICSE-NIER52604.2021.00013
ISBN:978-1-6654-0140-1
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2021/2021-ICSE-Kehrer.pdf
10.
Sundermann, Chico; Nieke, Michael; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Heß, Tobias; Thüm, Thomas; Schaefer, Ina
Applications of #SAT Solvers on Feature Models
Proc. Int'l Working Conf. on Variability Modelling of Software-Intensive Systems (VaMoS)
Publisher: ACM, New York, NY, USA
February 2021
DOI:10.1145/3442391.3442404
ISBN:9781450388245
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2021/2021-VaMoS-Sundermann.pdf

2020

9.
Mühlhausen, Moritz; Kappel, Moritz; Kassubeck, Marc; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Castillo, Susana; Magnor, Marcus
Temporal Consistent Motion Parallax for Omnidirectional Stereo Panorama Video
Proc. ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology (VRST)
Publisher: ACM, New York, NY, USA
November 2020
DOI:10.1145/3385956.3418965
File:https://graphics.tu-bs.de/publications/muhlhausen2020temporal
8.
Schultheiß, Alexander; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Kehrer, Timo; Thüm, Thomas
On the Use of Product-Line Variants as Experimental Subjects for Clone-and-Own Research: A Case Study
Proc. Int'l Systems and Software Product Line Conf. (SPLC)
Publisher: ACM, New York, NY, USA
October 2020
DOI:10.1145/3382025.3414972
ISBN:9781450375696
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2020/2020-SPLC-Schultheiss.pdf
7.
Bertel, Tobias; Mühlhausen, Moritz; Kappel, Moritz; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Richardt, Christian; Magnor, Marcus
Depth Augmented Omnidirectional Stereo for 6-DoF VR Photography
Proc. IEEE Virtual Reality Workshop (VR), Page 660-661
Publisher: IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA
May 2020
DOI:10.1109/VRW50115.2020.00181
ISBN:978-1-7281-6532-5
File:https://graphics.tu-bs.de/publications/bertel2020depth
6.
Bittner, Paul Maximilian
Semi-Automated Inference of Feature Traceability During Software Development
Master's Thesis
Master's Thesis
TU Braunschweig, Germany
February 2020
DOI:10.24355/dbbs.084-202002271120-0
File:pdfhttps://publikationsserver.tu-braunschweig.de/servlets/MCRFileNodeServlet/dbbs_derivate_00047261/Master_Thesis_Paul_Bittner.pdf

2019

5.
Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Thüm, Thomas; Schaefer, Ina
SAT Encodings of the At-Most-k Constraint - A Case Study on Configuring University Courses
Proc. Int'l Conf. on Software Engineering and Formal Methods (SEFM), Page 127-144
Publisher: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, Germany
September 2019
DOI:10.1007/978-3-030-30446-1_7
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/main/2019/2019-SEFM-Bittner.pdf
4.
Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Tauscher, Jan-Philipp; Grogorick, Steve; Magnor, Marcus
Evaluation of Optimised Centres of Rotation Skinning
April 2019
File:https://graphics.tu-bs.de/publications/bittner2019evaluation
3.
Grogorick, Steve; Überheide, Matthias; Tauscher, Jan-Philipp; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Magnor, Marcus
Gaze and Motion-aware Real-Time Dome Projection System
Proc. IEEE Virtual Reality Workshop (VR), Page 1780-1783
Publisher: IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA
March 2019
DOI:10.1109/VR.2019.8797902
ISBN:978-1-7281-1377-7
File:https://graphics.tu-bs.de/publications/grogorick2019gaze
2.
Tauscher, Jan-Philipp; Schottky, Fabian Wolf; Grogorick, Steve; Bittner, Paul Maximilian; Mustafa, Maryam; Magnor, Marcus
Immersive EEG: Evaluating Electroencephalography in Virtual Reality
Proc. IEEE Virtual Reality Workshop (VR), Page 1794-1800
Publisher: IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA
March 2019
DOI:10.1109/VR.2019.8797858
File:https://graphics.tu-bs.de/publications/tauscher2019immersive
1.
Bittner, Paul Maximilian
SAT Encodings of the At-Most-k Constraint - A Case Study on Configuring University Courses (Project Thesis)
Project Thesis
Project Thesis
TU Braunschweig, Germany
March 2019
File:pdfhttps://github.com/SoftVarE-Group/Papers/raw/master/2019/2019-SEFM-Bittner.pdf

2021

1.
Viegener, Sören
Empirical Evaluation of Feature Trace Recording on the Edit History of Marlin
Bachelor's Thesis
Bachelor's Thesis
University of Ulm, Germany
April 2021
DOI:10.18725/OPARU-38603
File:pdfhttps://oparu.uni-ulm.de/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/38679/BA_Viegener.pdf