Section: New Results

Core Modeling technologies

AtlanMod has continued to improve the core model and model transformation technologies that are reused in the other more domain-oriented research lines of the team. Main results in this area have been:

  • Model-to-Model Transformation Refactorings. In object-oriented programming, continuous refactorings are used as the main mechanism to increase the maintainability of the code base. Unfortunately, in the field of model transformations, such refactoring support is so far missing. We have tackled this limitation by adapting the notion of refactorings to model-to-model (M2M) transformations. Particularly, in [17] we present a dedicated catalogue of refactorings for improving the quality of M2M transformations. This catalogue is the result of analyzing existing ATL transformations; its scope is beyond ATL, covering other M2M transformation languages.

  • Reactive Model Transformations. Model-driven applications manipulate models by executing model transformations that are seen by host applications as black-box functions returning the computed target models. We propose a paradigm shift where a network of reactive transformations defines persistent data-flows among models. A reactive transformation engine takes care of activating only the strictly needed computation in response to updates or requests of model elements. Computation is updated when necessary, in an autonomous and optimized way. The application architecture results deeply changed, since the host application does not directly control the execution of the transformations anymore, but only accesses or updates the underlying models. We experiment this paradigm by implementing a reactive engine for ATL.

  • EMF Profiles. There are many situations in which one needs to extend or annotate a model with additional information. Nevertheless, changing the metamodel to include this new information is very costly (e.g. you'll need to recreate the modeling environment and, possibly, to migrate other existing models). As a solution, we have proposed the idea of EMF Profiles [16] as a way to reuse the idea of UML Profiles for general EMF Models. UML profiles have been a key enabler for the success of UML by providing a lightweight language-inherent extension mechanism which is expressive enough to cover an important subset of adaptation scenarios. We believe a similar concept for DSMLs would provide an easier extension mechanism for EMF.