About ICFI

ICFI is the primary international forum for discussing and reporting about research on the Feature Interaction problem in telecommunications and software systems since 1992.

The conference aims to bring together representatives of the communications industry, the software industry, and the research community working on various aspects of feature interactions in order to discuss possible solutions and their practical applications, as well as setting directions for further research.

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ICFI2005 in Leicester, UK 2005ICFI2007 in Grenoble, FR 2007

The Feature Interaction Problem

Feature interactions refer to conflicts among different features on a system. The features may be functions, services, concerns or aspects. Even if each individual feature works as intended, using multiple features together may cause unexpected (and often undesirable) behaviors, due to the feature interactions.

The feature interaction problem was first studied in the domain of telecommunications systems. However, the phenomenon can occur in any software system that is subject to evolution, because the features of the new version of the system can interact with the features of the old system in an undesired way.

The proliferation of players and software/service engineering techniques, coupled with the constant pressure for the rapid introduction of new services/applications, lead to undesirable interactions that jeopardize the quality of the products delivered as well as the satisfaction of users.

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(a) FI in Internet Telephony (VoIP)(b) FI in Home Network System

Detecting, resolving, preventing, and managing the feature interactions at different phases of the system life-cycle are more than ever important problems that need to be addressed with cost-effective techniques and tools.


Application Domain

Although interactions among classical telephony features are now fairly well understood, the feature interaction problem presents new challenges in emerging types of systems, including

  • policy-driven systems
  • Web services / service-oriented architecture
  • home network systems
  • building automation systems
  • mobile and ubiquitous systems
  • emerging architectures such as Parlay, 3G, .NET
  • grid and active networks
  • product-line engineering

Techniques successfully applied to conventional telecommunications systems are still useful in many cases, yet they may no longer be able to cope with the complexity of the emerging systems.


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Last-modified: 2008-10-07 (Tue) 03:07:54 (3545d)