A Domain Specific Transformation Language to Bridge Concrete and Abstract Syntax

  • Adolfo Sánchez-Barbudo HerreraEmail author
  • Edward D. Willink
  • Richard F. Paige
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9765)


Existing language workbenches, such as Xtext, support bridging the gap between the concrete syntax (CS) and abstract syntax (AS) of textual languages. However, the specification artefacts – i.e. grammars – are not sufficiently expressive to completely model the required CS-to-AS mapping, when it requires complex name resolution or multi-way mappings. This paper proposes a new declarative domain specific transformation language (DSTL) which provides support for complex CS-to-AS mappings, including features for name resolution and CS disambiguation. We justify the value of and need for a DSTL, analyse the challenges for using it to support mappings for complex languages such as Object Constraint Language, and demonstrate how it addresses these challenges. We present a comparison between the new DSTL and the state-of-the-art Gra2Mol, including performance data showing a significant improvement in terms of execution time.


Concrete syntax Abstract syntax Domain specific transformation language Xtext OCL Gra2Mol 



We gratefully acknowledge the support of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, via the LSCITS initiative, and Javier Luís Cánovas Izquierdo (Gra2Mol) and Pieter Van Gorp (SHARE) for the technical support required to produce the results exposed in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adolfo Sánchez-Barbudo Herrera
    • 1
    Email author
  • Edward D. Willink
    • 2
  • Richard F. Paige
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  2. 2.Willink Transformations Ltd.ReadingUK

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