Abstraction Techniques for Configuration Systems

Rainer Weigel, Boi Faltings

In this paper, we address abstraction methods for configuration. Configuration is a design activity where the set of available components and their allowed combinations are known a priori and the goal of the configuration process is to find the sets of components fulfilling the customers wishes and respecting all the compatibility constraints. Abstraction techniques for configuration are becoming more and more important when dealing with the complexity of real world systems. We have developed abstraction methods for finite and discrete constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs) and will describe herein the advantages of using these methods for configuration system. In particular the elaboration of abstraction hierarchies and compacting knowledge using the concept of interchangeability and substitutability on the different levels will be described.

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