On the Impact Significance of Metamodel Evolution in MDE

By: Ludovico Iovino, Alfonso Pierantonio, Ivano Malavolta


Harnessing metamodels to engineer application domains is at the core of Model-Driven Engineering. A large number of artifacts pursuing a common scope are defined starting from metamodels which represent the nucleus of an ecosystem. Analogously to any software artifact, metamodels are equally prone to evolution. However, changing a metamodel might affect the components of the ecosystem. In fact, when a metamodel undergoes modifications, the related artifacts might require to be consistently adapted in order to recovery their validity. This is an intrinsically difficult process. It requires different techniques for each specific kind of artifact and can easily lead to inconsistencies and irremediable information erosion, if based on spontaneous and individual skills. This paper discusses the problem of identifying, predicting and evaluating the significance of the metamodel change impact over the existing artifacts. The approach is agnostic of the adaptation technique and formalizes the whole ecosystem and the relatedness of the involved artifacts in terms of megamodels. This allows developers i) to establish relationships between the metamodel and its related artifacts, and ii) to automatically identify those elements within the various artifacts affected by the metamodel changes. The approach can be considered as preparatory to any systematic adaptation process.


Model driven engineering, coupled-evolution, metamodeling

Cite as:

Ludovico Iovino, Alfonso Pierantonio, Ivano Malavolta, “On the Impact Significance of Metamodel Evolution in MDE”, Journal of Object Technology, Volume 11, no. 3 (October 2012), pp. 3:1-33, doi:10.5381/jot.2012.11.3.a3.

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