A Conversion of Feature Models into an Executable Representation in Microsoft Excel

Viet-Man Le*, Trang Tran, Alexander Felfernig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


Feature model-based configuration involves selecting desired features from a collection of features (called a feature model) that satisfy pre-defined constraints. Configurator development can be performed by different stakeholders with distinct skills and interests, who could also be non-IT domain experts with limited technical understanding and programming experience. In this context, a simple configuration framework is required to facilitate non-IT stakeholders’ participation in configurator development processes. In this paper, we develop a so-called tool Fm2ExConf that enables stakeholders to represent configuration knowledge as an executable representation in Microsoft Excel. Our tool supports the conversion of a feature model into an Excel-based configurator, which is performed in two steps. In the first step, the tool checks the consistency and anomalies of a feature model. If the feature model is consistent, then it is converted into a corresponding Excel-based configurator. Otherwise, the tool provides corrective explanations that help stakeholders to resolve anomalies before performing the conversion. Besides, in the second step, another type of explanation (which is included in the Excel-based configurator) is provided to help non-IT stakeholders to fix inconsistencies in the configuration phase.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntelligent Systems in Industrial Applications
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Symposium on Methodologies for Intelligent Systems (ISMIS 2020)
EditorsMartin Stettinger, Gerhard Leitner, Alexander Felfernig, Zbigniew W. Ras
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-67148-8
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-67147-1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2021
Event25th International Symposium on Methodologies for Intelligent Systems - TU Graz, Virtuell, Austria
Duration: 23 Sep 202025 Sep 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Computational Intelligence
ISSN (Print)1860-949X
ISSN (Electronic)1860-9503


Conference25th International Symposium on Methodologies for Intelligent Systems
Abbreviated titleISMIS 2020


  • Feature models
  • Knowledge-based configuration
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Configurator
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Automated analyses
  • Anomalies
  • Explanations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence

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