A feature-based survey of model view approaches


When dealing with complex systems, information is very often fragmented across many different models expressed within a variety of (modeling) languages. To provide the relevant information in an appropriate way to different kinds of stakeholders, (parts of) such models have to be combined and potentially revamped by focusing on concerns of particular interest for them. Thus, mechanisms to define and compute views over models are highly needed. Several approaches have already been proposed to provide (semi)automated support for dealing with such model views. This paper provides a detailed overview of the current state of the art in this area. To achieve this, we relied on our own experiences of designing and applying such solutions in order to conduct a literature review on this topic. As a result, we discuss the main capabilities of existing approaches and propose a corresponding research agenda. We notably contribute a feature model describing what we believe to be the most important characteristics of the support for views on models. We expect this work to be helpful to both current and potential future users and developers of model view techniques, as well as to any person generally interested in model-based software and systems engineering.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5


  1. 1.


  2. 2.


  3. 3.


  4. 4.


  5. 5.


  6. 6.


  7. 7.


  8. 8.

    Note that comprehensive general-purpose modeling languages, such as UML, can be regarded as a composition of several domain-specific languages.

  9. 9.


  10. 10.


  11. 11.


  12. 12.


  13. 13.



  1. 1.

    ISO/IEC/IEEE Std 42010:2011: Systems and Software Engineering: Architecture Description. IEEE, Los Alamitos (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Alanen, M., Porres, I.: A metamodeling language supporting subset and union properties. Softw. Syst. Model. 7(1), 103–124 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Altmanninger, K., Seidl, M., Wimmer, M.: A survey on model versioning approaches. Int. J. Web Inf. Syst. 5(3), 271–304 (2009)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Anjorin, A., Rose, S., Deckwerth, F., Schürr, A.: Efficient model synchronization with view triple graph grammars. In: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Modelling Foundations and Applications (ECMFA), pp. 1–17. Springer, Berlin (2014)

  5. 5.

    Anwar, A., Ebersold, S., Coulette, B., Nassar, M., Kriouile, A.: A rule-driven approach for composing viewpoint-oriented models. J. Object Technol. 9(2), 89–114 (2010)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Atkinson, C., Bostan, P., Brenner, D., Falcone, G., Gutheil, M., Hummel, O., Juhasz, M., Stoll, D.: Modeling components and component-based systems in KobrA. In: Rausch, A., Reussner, R., Mirandola, R., Plášil, F. (eds.) The Common Component Modeling Example, pp. 54–84. Springer, Berlin (2008)

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Atkinson, C., Stoll, D., Bostan, P.: Orthographic software modeling: a practical approach to view-based development. In: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Evaluation of Novel Approaches to Software Engineering (ENASE), pp. 206–219. Springer, Berlin (2010)

  8. 8.

    Bergmann, G., Ráth, I., Varró, G., Varró, D.: Change-driven model transformations: change (in) the rule to rule the change. Softw. Syst. Model. 11(3), 431–461 (2012)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Bernstein, P.A., Melnik, S.: Model management 2.0: manipulating richer mappings. In: Proceedings of the 2007 ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD), pp. 1–12. ACM, London (2007)

  10. 10.

    Beyhl, T., Blouin, D., Giese, H., Lambers, L.: On the operationalization of graph queries with generalized discrimination networks. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Graph Transformation (ICGT), pp. 170–186. Springer, Berlin (2016)

  11. 11.

    Bézivin, J., Bouzitouna, S., Del Fabro, M.D., Gervais, M.P., Jouault, F., Kolovos, D., Kurtev, I., Paige, R.F.: A canonical scheme for model composition. In: Proceedings of the Second European Conference on Model Driven Architecture: Foundations and Applications (ECMDA-FA), pp. 346–360. Springer, Berlin (2006)

  12. 12.

    Breu, R., Grosu, R., Huber, F., Rumpe, B., Schwerin, W.: Systems, views and models of UML. In: UML Workshop, pp. 93–108 (1997)

  13. 13.

    Bruneliere, H., Cabot, J., Dupé, G., Madiot, F.: MoDisco: a model driven reverse engineering framework. Inf. Softw. Technol. 56(8), 1012–1032 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Bruneliere, H., Garcia, J., Desfray, P., Khelladi, D.E., Hebig, R., Bendraou, R., Cabot, J.: On lightweight metamodel extension to support modeling tools agility. In: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Modelling Foundations and Applications (ECMFA), pp. 62–74. Springer, Berlin (2015)

  15. 15.

    Bruneliere, H., Perez, J.G., Wimmer, M., Cabot, J.: EMF views: a view mechanism for integrating heterogeneous models. In: Proceedings of the 34th International Conference on Conceptual Modeling (ER), pp. 317–325. Springer, Berlin (2015)

  16. 16.

    Burger, E., Henß, J., Kruse, S., Küster, M., Rentschler, A., Happe, L.: ModelJoin. A textual domain-specific language for the combination of heterogeneous models. Tech. Rep. 1, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Faculty of Informatics (2014). http://digbib.ubka.uni-karlsruhe.de/volltexte/1000037908

  17. 17.

    Burger, E., Henß, J., Küster, M., Kruse, S., Happe, L.: View-based model-driven software development with ModelJoin. Softw. Syst. Model. 15(2), 472–496 (2014)

    Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Burger, E., Schneider, O.: Translatability and Translation of Updated Views in ModelJoin. In: P. van Gorp, G. Engels (eds.) Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on the Theory and Practice of Model Transformations (ICMT), pp. 55–69. Springer, Berlin (2016)

  19. 19.

    Chechik, M., Nejati, S., Sabetzadeh, M.: A relationship-based approach to model integration. Innov. Syst. Softw. Eng. 8(1), 3–18 (2012)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Cicchetti, A., Ciccozzi, F., Leveque, T.: A hybrid approach for multi-view modeling. ECEASST 50 (2011). doi:10.14279/tuj.eceasst.50.738

  21. 21.

    Combemale, B., DeAntoni, J., Baudry, B., France, R.B., Jézéquel, J., Gray, J.: Globalizing modeling languages. IEEE Comput. 47(6), 68–71 (2014)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Czarnecki, K., Helsen, S.: Feature-based survey of model transformation approaches. IBM Syst. J. 45(3), 621–646 (2006)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Debreceni, C., Horváth, A., Hegedüs, A., Ujhelyi, Z., Ráth, I., Varró, D.: Query-driven incremental synchronization of view models. In: Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on View-Based, Aspect-Oriented and Orthographic Software Modelling (VAO), pp. 31:31–31:38. ACM, London (2014)

  24. 24.

    Derler, P., Lee, E.A., Vincentelli, A.S.: Modeling cyber-physical systems. Proc. IEEE 100(1), 13–28 (2012)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Eclipse EMF Facet project. http://www.eclipse.org/facet/

  26. 26.

    Engels, G., Heckel, R., Taentzer, G., Ehrig, H.: A combined reference model- and view-based approach to system specification. Int. J. Softw. Eng. Knowl. Eng. 7(4), 457–477 (1997)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Etzlstorfer, J., Kusel, A., Kapsammer, E., Langer, P., Retschitzegger, W., Schoenboeck, J., Schwinger, W., Wimmer, M.: A survey on incremental model transformation approaches. In: Proceedings of the Workshop on Models and Evolution (ME) Co-located with MoDELS, pp. 4–13 (2013)

  28. 28.

    Feldmann, S., Wimmer, M., Kernschmidt, K., Vogel-Heuser, B.: A comprehensive approach for managing inter-model inconsistencies in automated production systems engineering. In: Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), pp. 1120–1127 (2016)

  29. 29.

    Finkelstein, A., Kramer, J., Nuseibeh, B., Finkelstein, L., Goedicke, M.: Viewpoints: a framework for integrating multiple perspectives in system development. Int. J. Softw. Eng. Knowl. Eng. 2(1), 31–57 (1992)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Goldschmidt, T., Becker, S., Burger, E.: Towards a tool-oriented taxonomy of view-based modelling. In: Proceedings of the Modellierung 2012. GI (2012)

  31. 31.

    Golra, F.R., Beugnard, A., Dagnat, F., Guérin, S., Guychard, C.: Addressing modularity for heterogeneous multi-model systems using model federation. In: Companion Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Modularity, pp. 206–211. ACM, London (2016)

  32. 32.

    Hidaka, S., Tisi, M., Cabot, J., Hu, Z.: Feature-based classification of bidirectional transformation approaches. Softw. Syst. Model. 15(3), 907–928 (2016)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Hildebrandt, S., Lambers, L., Holger, G., Rieke, J., Greenyer, J., Schäfer, W., Lauder, M., Anjorin, A., Schürr, A.: A survey of triple graph grammar tools. In: Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Bidirectional Transformations (BX), pp. 1–18. EC-EASST (2013)

  34. 34.

    Hilliard, R.: On metamodels in 42010 (2011). http://www.iso-architecture.org/ieee-1471/docs/Hilliard-On-Metamodels-in-42010.pdf

  35. 35.

    Hudak, P.: Building domain-specific embedded languages. ACM Comput. Surv. 28(4), 196 (1996)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. 36.

    Jakob, J., Königs, A., Schürr, A.: Non-materialized model view specification with triple graph grammars. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Graph Transformations (ICGT), pp. 321–335. Springer, Berlin (2006)

  37. 37.

    Jakob, J., Schürr, A.: View creation of meta models by using modified triple graph grammars. Electr. Notes Theor. Comput. Sci. 211, 181–190 (2008)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. 38.

    Jalali, A., Ghamarian, M.A.H., Rensink, D.A.: Incremental pattern matching for regular expressions. In: Fish, A., Lambers, L. (eds.) Proceedings of the 11th International Workshop on Graph Transformation and Visual Modeling Techniques (GTVMT), pp. 736:1–736:12. EC-EASST, Berlin (2012)

    Google Scholar 

  39. 39.

    Jouault, F., Tisi, M.: Towards incremental execution of ATL transformations. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on the Theory and Practice of Model Transformations (ICMT), pp. 123–137. Springer, Berlin (2010)

  40. 40.

    Kitchenham, B., Charters, S.: Guidelines for performing systematic literature reviews in software engineering. Tech. Rep. EBSE 2007-001, Keele University and Durham University Joint Report (2007)

  41. 41.

    Kolovos, D.S., Paige, R.F., Polack, F.A.: Merging models with the epsilon merging language (EML). In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MoDELS), pp. 215–229. Springer, Berlin (2006)

  42. 42.

    Kolovos, D.S., Rose, L.M., Matragkas, N.D., Paige, R.F., Polack, F.A., Fernandes, K.J.: Constructing and navigating non-invasive model decorations. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Theory and Practice of Model Transformations (ICMT), pp. 138–152. Springer, Berlin (2010)

  43. 43.

    Krahn, H., Rumpe, B., Völkel, S.: MontiCore: a framework for compositional development of domain specific languages. Int. J. Softw. Tools Technol. Transf. 12(5), 353–372 (2010)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. 44.

    Langer, P., Wieland, K., Wimmer, M., Cabot, J.: EMF profiles: a lightweight extension approach for EMF models. J. Object Technol. 11(1), 1–29 (2012)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. 45.

    Langlois, B., Exertier, D., Zendagui, B.: Development of modelling frameworks and viewpoints with Kitalpha. In: Proceedings of the 14th Workshop on Domain-Specific Modeling (DSM), pp. 19–22. ACM, London (2014)

  46. 46.

    Leblebici, E., Anjorin, A., Schürr, A.: Developing eMoflon with eMoflon. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Theory and Practice of Model Transformations (ICMT), pp. 138–145. Springer, Berlin (2014)

  47. 47.

    Linington, P.F.: RM-ODP: the architecture. In: Raymond, K., Armstrong, L. (eds.) Open Distributed Processing, pp. 15–33. Springer, Berlin (1995)

  48. 48.

    Linnington, P., Milosevic, Z., Tanaka, A., Vallecillo, A.: Building Enterprise Systems with ODP: An Introduction to Open Distributed Processing. CRC Press, Boca Raton (2011)

    Google Scholar 

  49. 49.

    Maoz, S., Ringert, J.O., Rumpe, B.: Synthesis of Component and Connector Models from Crosscutting Structural Views. In: Joint Meeting of the European Software Engineering Conference and the ACM SIGSOFT Symposium on the Foundations of Software Engineering (ESEC/FSE), pp. 444–454. ACM (2013)

  50. 50.

    Martinez, S., Garcia-Alfaro, J., Cuppens, F., Cuppens-Boulahia, N., Cabot, J.: Model-driven extraction and analysis of network security policies. In: Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MoDELS), pp. 52–68. Springer, Berlin (2013)

  51. 51.

    Mayol, E., Teniente, E.: A survey of current methods for integrity constraint maintenance and view updating. In: Proceedings of Advances in Conceptual Modeling (ER’99): Workshops on Evolution and Change in Data Management, Reverse Engineering in Information Systems, and the World Wide Web and Conceptual Modeling, pp. 62–73. Springer, Berlin (1999)

  52. 52.

    OMG Model Driven Architecture. http://www.omg.org/mda/

  53. 53.

    Melnik, S., Bernstein, P.A., Halevy, A., Rahm, E.: Supporting executable mappings in model management. In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data (SIGMOD), pp. 167–178. ACM, London (2005)

  54. 54.

    Mens, T., Van Gorp, P.: A taxonomy of model transformation. Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science 152, 125–142 (2006)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. 55.

    Moreno, N., Romero, J.R., Vallecillo, A.: An overview of model-driven web engineering and the MDA. In: Rossi, G., Pastor, O., Schwabe, D., Olsina, L. (eds.) Web Engineering: Modelling and Implementing Web Applications, Human–Computer Interaction Series, pp. 353–382. Springer, Berlin (2008)

  56. 56.

    Nassar, M.: VUML: a viewpoint oriented UML extension. In: Proceedings of the 18th IEEE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE), pp. 373–376 (2003)

  57. 57.

    Noyrit, F., Gérard, S., Selic, B.: FacadeMetamodel: Masking UML. In: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MoDELS), pp. 20–35. Springer, Berlin (2012)

  58. 58.

    Palpanas, T., Sidle, R., Cochrane, R., Pirahesh, H.: Incremental maintenance for non-distributive aggregate functions. In: Proceedings of 28th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases (VLDB), pp. 802–813. Morgan Kaufmann (2002)

  59. 59.

    Rubin, J., Chechik, M., Easterbrook, S.M.: Declarative approach for model composition. In: Proceedings of the 2008 International Workshop on Models in Software Engineering (MiSE), pp. 7–14. ACM, New York (2008)

  60. 60.

    Sabetzadeh, M., Easterbrook, S.: View merging in the presence of incompleteness and inconsistency. Requir. Eng. 11(3), 174–193 (2006)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. 61.

    Schürr, A.: Specification of graph translators with triple graph grammars. In: Proceedings of the 20th International Workshop on Graph-Theoretic Concepts in Computer Science (WG), pp. 151–163. Springer, Berlin (1994)

  62. 62.

    Semeráth, O., Debreceni, C., Horváth, Á., Varró, D.: Incremental backward change propagation of view models by logic solvers. In: Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE 19th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems, pp. 306–316. ACM, New York (2016)

  63. 63.

    Eclipse Sirius project. https://eclipse.org/sirius/

  64. 64.

    Troya, J., Brunelière, H., Fleck, M., Wimmer, M., Orue-Echevarria, L., Gorroñogoitia, J.: ARTIST: model-based stairway to the cloud. In: Proceedings of the Projects Showcase, part of the Software Technologies: Applications and Foundations 2015 Federation of Conferences (STAF), pp. 1–8 (2015)

  65. 65.

    Ujhelyi, Z., Bergmann, G., Hegedüs, Á., Horváth, Á., Izsó, B., Ráth, I., Szatmári, Z., Varró, D.: EMF-IncQuery: an integrated development environment for live model queries. Sci. Comput. Program. 98, 80–99 (2015)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. 66.

    Vallecillo, A.: On the combination of domain specific modeling languages. In: Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Modelling Foundations and Applications (ECMFA), pp. 305–320. Springer, Berlin (2010)

  67. 67.

    Vangheluwe, H., Amaral, V., Giese, H., Broenink, J., Schätz, B., Norta, A., Carreira, P., Lukovic, I., Mayerhofer, T., Wimmer, M., Vallecillo, A.: MPM4CPS: Multi-paradigm modelling for cyber-physical systems. In: Joint Proceedings of the Doctoral Symposium and Projects Showcase Held as Part of STAF 2016 Co-located with Software Technologies: Applications and Foundations (STAF 2016), pp. 40–47 (2016)

  68. 68.

    Wohlin, C.: Guidelines for snowballing in systematic literature studies and a replication in software engineering. In: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (EASE), pp. 38:1–38:10. ACM, London (2014)

  69. 69.

    Wood-Harper, A., Antill, L., Avison, D.: Information Systems Definition: The Multiview Approach, Computer Science Texts. Blackwell Scientific, London (1985)

    Google Scholar 

  70. 70.

    Zachman, J.A.: A framework for information systems architecture. IBM Syst. J. 26(3), 276–292 (1987)

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. 71.

    Zito, A., Diskin, Z., Dingel, J.: Package merge in UML 2: practice vs. theory? In: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MoDELS), pp. 185–199. Springer, Berlin (2006)

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hugo Bruneliere.

Additional information

This work has been partially funded by the MoNoGe national collaborative project (French FUI #15), the Electronic Component Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) Joint Undertaking & the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research/innovation program under grant agreement No. 737494 (MegaM@Rt2 project), the Spanish government (TIN2016-75944-R project), the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy (BMWFW) and National Foundation for Research, Technology and Development. We also would like to thank the various academics and industrials that provided valuable feedback to us on our descriptions of their respective solutions.

Communicated by Dr. Robert Pettit.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bruneliere, H., Burger, E., Cabot, J. et al. A feature-based survey of model view approaches. Softw Syst Model 18, 1931–1952 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10270-017-0622-9

Download citation


  • Modeling
  • Viewpoint
  • View
  • Model
  • Survey