Precise Semantics of EMF Model Transformations by Graph Transformation

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Model transformation is one of the key activities in model-driven software development. An increasingly popular technology to define modeling languages is provided by the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF). Several EMF model transformation approaches have been developed, focusing on different transformation aspects. To validate model transformations wrt. functional behavior and correctness, a formal foundation is needed. In this paper, we define EMF model transformations as a special kind of typed graph transformations using node type inheritance. Containment constraints of EMF model transformations are translated to a special kind of EMF model transformation rules such that their application leads to consistent transformation results only. Thus, we identify a kind of EMF model transformations which behave like algebraic graph transformations. As a consequence, the rich theory of algebraic graph transformation can be applied to these EMF model transformations to show functional behavior and correctness. We illustrate our approach by selected refactorings of simplified statechart models.