Software & Systems Modeling

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 559–586 | Cite as

Model-based tool support for Tactical Data Links: an experience report from the defence domain

  • Suraj Ajit
  • Chris Holmes
  • Julian Johnson
  • Dimitrios S. KolovosEmail author
  • Richard F. Paige
Regular Paper


The Tactical Data Link (TDL) allows the exchange of information between cooperating platforms as part of an integrated command and control (\(C^2\)) system. Information exchange is facilitated by adherence to a complex, message-based protocol defined by document-centric standards. In this paper, we report on a recent body of work investigating migration from a document-centric to a model-centric approach within the context of the TDL domain, motivated by a desire to achieve a positive return on investment. The model-centric approach makes use of the Epsilon technology stack and provides a significant improvement to both the level of abstraction and rigour of the network design. It is checkable by a machine and, by virtue of an MDA-like approach to the separation of domains and model transformation between domains, is open to integration with other models to support more complex workflows, such as by providing the results of interoperability analyses in human-readable domain-specific reports conforming to an accepted standard.


Tactical data link Model-based development Interoperability Metamodelling Model management Eclipse Modeling Framework Epsilon 



The support of BAE Systems, Military Air and Information (MAI) business unit is gratefully acknowledged. This body of work would not have been possible without the support of the Tactical Data Link community within MAI. At the time of the undertaking of this body of work, both Dr. Holmes and Dr. Ajit were employed by BAE Systems. The support of the University of York is gratefully acknowledged. BAE Systems and the University of York have a long history of collaboration. Staff at the University provided valuable guidance and support regarding the use of the Epsilon technologies. The development of Epsilon has been partially supported through a number of EC co-funded FP6 and FP7 projects including ModelWare, ModelPlex, MADES and INESS. The support of CGI IT (UK) Ltd. is gratefully acknowledged. The support of the University of Northampton is also gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suraj Ajit
    • 1
  • Chris Holmes
    • 2
  • Julian Johnson
    • 3
  • Dimitrios S. Kolovos
    • 4
    Email author
  • Richard F. Paige
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceNorthampton UniversityNorthamptonUK
  2. 2.CGI ITLondonUK
  3. 3.Advanced Technology Centre, BAE SystemsPrestonUK
  4. 4.Department of Computer ScienceThe University of YorkYorkUK

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