Dimensions of Configuration Problems: Looking for a Unified Configuration Model

Markus Stumptner

Configuration design deals with the composition of artifacts from a predefined catalog of components over a wide variety of application domains (architecture, telecommunications systems, civil engineering, control software, etc.). Recent years have seen various attempts to work towards a high-level, formal representation of configuration problems with the goal of providing a stable platform on which generally usable configuration tools can be built and meaningful theoretical research results achieved. Unlike other application areas that are amenable to a model-based approach (such as diagnosis), so far no scheme has been generally accepted to provide such a unified basis. In this paper, we analyze different modelling options in CSP-based configuration systems, discuss their realization in particular in the realm of dynamic CSP’s and our own generic CSP approach, and try to draw a bridge to several predominantly logic-based approaches to configuration by discussing them in view of our criteria.

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