Software & Systems Modeling

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 475–488 | Cite as

On model compatibility with referees and contexts

  • Thomas KühneEmail author
Special Section Paper


A model-based engineering discipline presupposes that models are organised by creating relationships between them. While there has been considerable work on understanding what it means to instantiate one model from another, little is known about when a model should be considered to be a specialisation of another one. This article motivates and discusses ways of defining specialisation relationships between models, languages, and transformations respectively. Consideration is given to both structural and behavioural compatibility concerns. Several alternatives of defining a specialisation relationship are considered and discussed. The article furthermore discusses the notions of referee and context in order to validate and define specialisation relationships. The ideas and discussions presented in this article are meant to provide a further stepping stone towards a systematic basis for organising models.


Model inheritance Model compatibility Language engineering Model evolution Subtyping Refinement Referee Context 


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© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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