Semantic Anchoring of Domain Specific Modeling Languages Janos Sztipanovits Institute for Software Integrated Systems Vanderbilt University janos.sztipanovits@vanderbilt.edu; www.isis.vanderbilt.edu Extended Abstract

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15 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 1 μήνα)

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Semantic Anchoring

of Domain Specific Modeling Languages


Janos Sztipanovits

Institute for Software Integrated Systems

Vanderbilt University

janos.sztipanovits@vanderbilt.edu
;
www.isis.vanderbilt.edu


Extended Abstract


Model
-
based software and system design is
based on

the end
-
to
-
end use of formal,
composable and manipulable models

in the product life
-
cycle.

Model Integrated
Computing (MIC)

[1][2]

dev
eloped at the Institute for Software Integrated Systems
(ISIS) at Vanderbilt University is part of this
new direction

together with other
well
known

approaches

and initiatives
, such as
Microsoft’s Software Factories [3],
OMG’s
Model Driven Architecture (M
DA), or
the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF)
.

An
emerging common thread in model
-
based software and systems design is that
modeling
languages are domain
-
speci

c:

they offer

software
de
velopers

concepts and notations that
are tailored to charac
teristics of their application domain.
Models represented in
Domain
-
Specific Mod
eling L
anguages (DSML
-
s)
express

the structural and be
havioral aspects of
systems

that
define the design space
.
S
emantics
of DSMLs
capture concurrency,
communication abstractions, temporal and other physical properties

as required by the
application domain
. For example, a DSML framework (i.e. a set of related modeling
aspects) for embedded s
ystems
design
might represent physical processes using ordinary
differential equations,
digital control

systems
using
synchronous
dataflow models, and
resource management using synchronous
concurrent state machines
.
DSML
-
s
defined
for
the specification of
component based software architecture
might
include
modeling
aspects for component behavior, interactions and resource mapping (scheduling).


M
odel analysis
and model
-
based code generation

require the

precise specification

of
DSMLs.
This is
partly
achie
ved by
metamodeling languages
and meta
model
s

describing
the
abstract syntax
(

concepts, relationships

and
wellformedness rules
)
of DSMLs
. The
MIC tool suite of ISIS
(developed under DARPA, NSF and industry funding during the
past 15 years)
is a metaprogram
mable tool suite that
includes
the
Generic Modeling
Environment (GME)
, the
Universal Data Modeling (UDM) tool

for model
data
management
, the Model Transformation Tool
(GReAT)
, the
Open Tool Integration
Framework (OTIF)

and the
Design Space Exploration Tool

(DESERT)

[4]
.

The MIC tool suite
has been tested in
several
industrial
applications

in
strongly
different domains,

such as
software
architecture modeling
and architecture
exploration
(Future Combat Systems program, Boeing); embedded software design (Gener
al
Motors), signal processing (Raytheon)
, manufacturing execution systems

(General
Motors)
, avionics systems (Boeing)

and many others. The MIC tool suite is accessible
through a quality controlled repository

[5]

funded by GM, Boeing and Raytheon.


While me
tamodeling and metaprogrammable tools have proved to be quite effective in
software and systems engineering
, it has become clear
for us
that t
he lack of formally
specified semantics of DSML
-
s create
s

potential

risk in
a wide range of

applications
.

For
exa
mple, s
emantic mismatch between
DSMLs used for architecture modeling
and
DSMLs

used by safety
analysi
s tools may re
sult in ambiguities in the design flow that
are unacceptable
.


W
e
have
started a research program

to
fix this problem

by devel
oping an inf
rastructure
for
semantic anchoring

of DSML
-
s
.

The research program has

the following agenda:

1.

Development of precise
specification
for

a set of “semantic units” that
provides
reference

semantics of basic
behavioral categories
and models of computations.

2.

Development of
a metamodel interface
(an abstract data model)
for
the semantic units.

3.

Development of an infrastructure
for the transforma
tional specification of DSML
semantics by defining the mapping between the metamodels of DSML
-
s and that of
the semantic units.

4.

Development of theories, methods and tools for the specification of “derived”
semantics
by composing

semanti
c units
.


The agenda above

requires

a formal framework for

the specification
and composition
of seman
tic
units. We have evaluated several frameworks, such as TLA+, the Tagged
Signal Models, Z and others, and finally selected Abstract State Machines
(ASM)
b
ecause of two reasons:
(a)
ASM
-
s provide

excellent foundation for sp
ecifying
operational semantics,
and
(b)
availability of
Microsoft’s
AsmL
tool suite
.

During the past two years we have
built

the

experimental version of a semantic anchoring
tool suite
[6
][7][8]
that includes MIC tools and AsmL. A
real
-
life
use case for the tool
suite is the following:

1.

GM engineers have defined a complex DSML
for modeling embedded software
architecture
with
an intuitive semantics gained from synchronous languages.

2.

We spec
ified the precise operational semantics compositionally in th
e AsmL
framework. The semantic

units used in the specification were: Finite State Machine
(FSM), Synchronous Event and Data Flow.

3.

We anchored the DSML via specifying the transformation rules bet
ween the DSML
metamodel
and the abstract data model of the
composed
operational
semantics.

4.

The semantics was validated by building models

(architecture specifications) in the
DSML
,
auto
generating the AsmL specification
s

using
the MIC
model transformation
t
ool suite and inspecting behavior
traces
determined by

the reference semantics using
the AsmL simulator.

The unique advantage of the method is that the engineers
d
o

not have to
build

AsmL
specification
s

for the
ir

systems
; those
are

automatically generated

from the architecture
models
via model transformation
.

We believe that
completing this agenda will provide

effective solution for the semantic
s

problem of model
-
based software de
sign and will be
a key

enabler for the general acceptance of the technology.
Since

AsmL plays a pivotal
role in this undertaking, establishing a strong collaboration with MSR and a parallel MSR
effort on extending
AsmL

capabilities would be extremely important.
Listed below are
initial ideas for AsmL extensions

that we recommend fo
r MSR to consider
:


1.

Development of support for
modular and

composition operators

for specifications.

2.

Extended support for simulations and for the component
-
based integration of
simulations with other tools.

3.

E
xtending
the current framework to continuous
ti
me

and
hybrid systems
.




References

(papers are available on
-
line on the ISIS web site)
:


[1]

Sztipanovits, J., Karsai, G.: “
Model
-
Integrated Computing
”, IEEE Computer,V.30. pp. 11
0
-
112, April, 1997.

[2]

Karsai, G.; Sztipanovits, J.; Ledeczi, A.; Bapty, T.
:
Model
-
integrated development of
embedded software
,; Proceedings of the IEEE, Volume: 91, Issue: 1, Jan. 2003 Pages:145


164
.

[3]

Jack Greenfield and Keith Short with Steve Cook and Stuart Kent: Software Factories
, Wiley
Publishing, 2004

[4]

h
ttp://www.escherinstitute.org/Plone/tools/suites/mic

[5]

www.escherinstitute.org

[6]

Chen K., Sztipanovits J., Abdelwahed S.:
A Semantic Unit for Timed Automata Based
Modeling Languages
, RTAS 06, San

Diego, CA, April 4
-
7, 2006.

[7]

Chen K., Sztipanovits J., Abdelwahed S., Jackson E.:
Semantic Anchoring with Model
Transformations
, European Conference on Model Driven Architecture
-
Foundations an
d
Applications (ECMDA
-
FA), Nuremberg, Germany, November 7, 2005

[8]

Chen K., Sztipanovits J., Neema S., Emerson M., Abdelwahed S.:
Toward a Semantic
Anchoring Infrastructure for Domain
-
Specific Model
ing Languages
, Proceedings of the Fifth
ACM International Conference on Embedded Software (EMSOFT 05), pp. 35
-
44, Jersey
City, New Jersey, September 19, 2005.