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Safe Reuse in Modeling Language Engineering using Model Subtyping with OCL Constraints

Version 2 2023-11-16, 16:21
Version 1 2022-08-08, 09:55
journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-16, 16:21 authored by Artur Boronat

Low-code  software  development  promisesrapid  delivery  of  software  cloud  applications  by  em-ploying  domain-specific  languages  (DSLs),  requiringminimal traditional coding. Model-driven engineering(MDE) provides tools, modeling notations and practicessuited for engineering such DSLs, both from a syntacticand semantic perspective. However, low-code softwaredevelopment is heavily reliant on software reuse. It isimperative to provide safe mechanisms that guaranteevalid semantic reuse of structural components and theirbehaviour, most often in a stepwise manner.This  article  presents  a  semantic  reuse  techniquebased  on  model  subtyping  over  metamodels  to  man-age correct model-driven engineering of DSLs. Modelsubtyping is generalized to structural semantics by con-sidering OCL constraints. Moreover, model subtyping isgeneralized to behavioural semantics by considering spec-ifications of model transformation operations, which mayencode operational or translational semantics. Modelsubtyping facilitates structural and behavioural refine-ment. It has been implemented atop a bounded modelchecker, realizing a semi-decidable procedure for verify-ing that DSL elements are safely reused. The algorithmfinds semantic witnesses of inconsistencies when refine-ment  principles  are  not  satisfied,  fostering  a  correctstepwise engineering of DSLs. Moreover, the algorithmproduces an extension metamodel that permits theas-isreuse  of  implementations  of  model  transformationoperation specifications. Finally, the versatility of themodel subtyping technique is illustrated with commonuse cases extracted from the research literature.

History

Author affiliation

School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, University of Leicester

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

International Journal on Software and Systems Modeling

Volume

22

Pagination

797-818

Publisher

Springer

issn

1619-1366

Acceptance date

2022-07-04

Copyright date

2022

Available date

2023-11-16

Language

en

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