Quick fixing ATL transformations with speculative analysis

Abstract

Model transformations are central components of most model-based software projects. While ensuring their correctness is vital to guarantee the quality of the solution, current transformation tools provide limited support to statically detect and fix errors. In this way, the identification of errors and their correction are nowadays mostly manual activities which incur in high costs. The aim of this work is to improve this situation. Recently, we developed a static analyser that combines program analysis and constraint solving to identify errors in ATL model transformations. In this paper, we present a novel method and system that uses our analyser to propose suitable quick fixes for ATL transformation errors, notably some non-trivial, transformation-specific ones. Our approach supports speculative analysis to help developers select the most appropriate fix by creating a dynamic ranking of fixes, reporting on the consequences of applying a quick fix, and providing a pre-visualization of each quick fix application. The approach integrates seamlessly with the ATL editor. Moreover, we provide an evaluation based on existing faulty transformations built by a third party, and on automatically generated transformation mutants, which are then corrected with the quick fixes of our catalogue.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    http://www.miso.es/tools/anATLyzer.html.

  2. 2.

    http://www.eclipse.org/atl/usecases/, some of these transformations originated from industrial projects.

  3. 3.

    In ATL, a helper is an auxiliary query operation.

  4. 4.

    http://www.intalio.com/products/bpms.

  5. 5.

    We have fixed Listing 1 for this figure.

  6. 6.

    In practice, it is more natural to consider lazy/called rules as operations.

  7. 7.

    The transformation does define two attribute helpers in the context of Activity and ActivityPartition, but not a one-parameter helper at the module level.

  8. 8.

    http://www.eclipse.org/atl/atlTransformations/.

  9. 9.

    We are not yet able to precisely determine in which circumstances the solver behaves correctly and in which not. Thus, we notify the user that the analysis is not completely reliable.

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Acknowledgments

Work supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity (TIN2014-52129-R), the R&D programme of the Madrid Region (S2013/ICE-3006), and the EU commission (FP7-ICT-2013-10, #611125).

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Correspondence to Jesús Sánchez Cuadrado.

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Communicated by Dr. Jordi Cabot and Alexander Egyed.

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Cuadrado, J.S., Guerra, E. & de Lara, J. Quick fixing ATL transformations with speculative analysis. Softw Syst Model 17, 779–813 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10270-016-0541-1

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Keywords

  • Model transformation
  • ATL
  • Transformation static analysis
  • Quick fixes
  • Speculative analysis