Combining Ontologies with Domain Specific Languages: A Case Study from Network Configuration Software
One of the important aspects of Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) is to consider application-domain variability, which leads to creation of Domain Specific Languages (DSL). As with DSLs models are concise, easy to understand and maintain, this approach greatly increases the productivity and software quality. Usually, the DSLs in MDE are described with a metamodel and a concrete syntax definition. The models expressed in the DSL are linguistic instantiations of the language concepts found in the metamodel.
However, for some of the application domains it’s not enough to consider the linguistic dimension of the instantiation. The problem arises when the domain itself contains the aspect of typing. This leads to another view on instantiation, called ontological instantiation . Since both aspects are present simultaneously, we refer to the combined approach with the term “two-dimensional metamodelling”.
In the following, we will exemplify the problem with a case study based on a real challenge found in the domain of network management. The solution we propose benefits from ontology technology which is applied to enforce the semantics of ontological instantiation. Our approach presents significant differences comparing to the existing 2D metamodelling solution, although the motivations are similar. Thus, we consider our work as a case study of applying ontology enabled software engineering in the area of DSL engineering, rather than a new metamodelling technology or an application of existing 2D metamodelling architecture.
The article is a result of joint work of the MOST project partners, applied within the case study provided by Comarch.
KeywordsPhysical Device Concrete Syntax Eclipse Modelling Framework Ontology Technology Close World Assumption
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