Feature Usage Diagram for Feature Reduction

Sarunas Marciuska, Cigdem Gencel, Xiaofeng Wang, and Pekka Abrahamsson

Research Paper


Feature creep, if not managed well, cause software bloat. This in turn makes software applications become slower. Currently, soft- ware industry urgently requires mechanisms and approaches to reduce unnecessary or low value features. In this paper, we introduce a modelling notation, so called Feature Usage Diagram, and an approach to identify and visualize the required information for decision makers when reducing features. We conducted a case study using a real web application to validate and evaluate the Feature Usage Diagram elements and notation. The results showed that the Feature Usage Diagram is easy to learn and understand. Moreover, by visualising useful information, it has potential to support developers when making decisions for feature reduction.

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Sarunas Marciuska is a PhD student at Free University of Bolzano, Italy. His research focus is to identify and to visualize software features and their value. The newest advancements of his work can be found on the following website: www.featurereduction.org. In addition, he is a co-founder of a social movie recommender system – nextrailer.net.

Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Marciuska@inf.unibz.it


Xiaofeng Wang is a lecturer at the Free University of Bozen. Her research areas include software development process, methods, agile software development, and complex adaptive systems theory. Her doctoral study at the University of Bath investigated the application of complex adaptive systems theory in the research of agile software development. She publishes in major IS journals and conferences, including Information Systems Research (ISR), Journal of Information Technology (JIT), IEEE Software, the International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) and the European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS).

Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Xiaofeng.Wang@unibz.it

Further Authors


Cigdem Gencel is a senior researcher at the Faculty of Computer Science of the Free University of Bolzano, Italy. Her research focus is providing novel solutions to real industrial challenges, particularly in the areas of software size and effort estimating, software measurement, software project management, requirements elicitation methods and process improvement. She is a member of the COSMIC Measurement Practices Committee.

Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Cigdem.Gencel@unibz.it

Pekka Abrahamsson, Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, Pekka.Abrahamsson@unibz.it