Meta-Modeling Model-Based Engineering Tools (Dagstuhl Seminar 13182)

Authors Tony Clark, Robert B. France, Martin Gogolla, Bran V. Selic and all authors of the abstracts in this report

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Tony Clark
Robert B. France
Martin Gogolla
Bran V. Selic
and all authors of the abstracts in this report

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Tony Clark, Robert B. France, Martin Gogolla, and Bran V. Selic. Meta-Modeling Model-Based Engineering Tools (Dagstuhl Seminar 13182). In Dagstuhl Reports, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp. 188-227, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2013)


Model-based engineering (MBE) is a software development approach in which abstraction via modeling is used as the primary mechanism for managing the complexity of software-based systems. An effective approach to software development must be supported by effective technologies (i.e., languages, methods, processes, tools). The wide range of development tasks that effective MBE approaches must support leads to two possible tooling scenarios. In the first scenario a federated collection of tools is used to support system development. Each tool in the collection provides specialized services. Tool interoperability and consistency of information across the tools are major concerns in this scenario. These concerns are typically addressed using transformations and exposed tool interfaces. Defining and evolving the transformations and interfaces requires detailed low-level knowledge of the tools and thus leads to complex tooling environments that are difficult to configure, learn, use, and evolve. In the second scenario, a single tool is used to support the complete modeling lifecycle. This avoids the inter-tool transformation and consistency problems, but the resulting multi-featured tool is a monolithic entity that is costly to develop and evolve. Furthermore, the large number of non-trivial features can make learning and using such tools difficult. Successful uptake of MDE in industry requires supporting tools to be, at least, useful and usable. From a tool developer's perspective, there is also a need to significantly reduce the cost and effort required to develop and evolve complex MBE tools. This seminar brings together experts in the areas of MBE, meta-modeling, tool development, and human-computer interactions to map out a research agenda that lays a foundation for the development of effective MBE tools. Such a foundation will need to support not only interoperability of tools or tool features, but also the implementation of high quality MBE tools. The long-term objective is to foster a research community that will work on a foundation that can be expressed in the form of standard tool (meta-)models that capture and leverage high quality reusable MBE tool development experience.
  • meta-modeling
  • model-based engineering
  • models
  • tools
  • domain specific modeling languages


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