DPF Workbench: A Diagrammatic Multi-Layer Domain Specific (Meta-)Modelling Environment

  • Yngve Lamo
  • Xiaoliang Wang
  • Florian Mantz
  • Wendy MacCaull
  • Adrian Rutle
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 429)


This paper presents the DPFWorkbench, a diagrammatic tool for domain specific modelling. The tool is an implementation of the basic ideas from the Diagram Predicate Framework (DPF), which provides a graph based formalisation of (meta)modelling and model transformations. The DPFWorkbench consists of a specification editor and a signature editor and offers fully diagrammatic specification of domain-specific modelling languages. The specification editor supports development of metamodelling hierarchies with an arbitrary number of metalevels; that is, each model can be used as a metamodel for the level below. The workbench also facilitates the automatic generation of domain-specific specification editors out of these metamodels. Furthermore, the conformance relations between adjacent metalevels are dynamically checked by the use of typing morphisms and constraint validators. The signature editor is a new component that extends the DPF Workbench with functionality for dynamic definition of predicates. The syntax of the predicates are defined by a shape graph and a graphical icon, and their semantics are defined by validators. Those predicates are used to add constrains on the underlying graph. The features of the DPF Workbench are illustrated by a running example presenting a metamodelling hierarchy for workflow modelling in the health care domain.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Atkinson, C., Kühne, T.: Rearchitecting the UML infrastructure. ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation 12(4), 290–321 (2002), doi:10.1145/643120.643123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    AToM3: A Tool for Multi-formalism and Meta-Modelling: Project Web Site, http://atom3.cs.mcgill.ca/
  3. 3.
    Baar, T.: Correctly Defined Concrete Syntax for Visual Modeling Languages. In: Wang, J., Whittle, J., Harel, D., Reggio, G. (eds.) MoDELS 2006. LNCS, vol. 4199, pp. 111–125. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bech, Ø., Lokøen, D.V.: DPF to SHIP Validator Proof-of-Concept Transformation Engine, http://dpf.hib.no/code/transformation/dpf_to_shipvalidator.py
  5. 5.
    Bergen University College and University of Bergen: Diagram Predicate Framework Web Site, http://dpf.hib.no/
  6. 6.
    Broadfield, L., Banerjee, S., Jewers, H., Pollett, A., Simpson, J.: Guidelines for the Management of Cancer-Related Pain in Adults. Supportive Care Cancer Site Team, Cancer Care Nova Scotia (2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    de Lara, J., Guerra, E.: Deep Meta-modelling with MetaDepth. In: Vitek, J. (ed.) TOOLS 2010. LNCS, vol. 6141, pp. 1–20. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    de Lara, J., Vangheluwe, H.: Using AToM3 as a Meta-CASE Tool. In: Proceedings of ICEIS 2002: 4th International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems, Ciudad Real, Spain, pp. 642–649 (2002)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Diskin, Z., Wolter, U.: A Diagrammatic Logic for Object-Oriented Visual Modeling. In: Proceedings of ACCAT 2007: 2nd Workshop on Applied and Computational Category Theory, vol. 203(6), pp. 19–41. Elsevier (2008), doi:10.1016/j.entcs.2008.10.041Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eclipse Platform: Project Web Site, http://www.eclipse.org
  11. 11.
    Fowler, M.: Domain-Specific Languages. Addison-Wesley Professional (2010)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    GME: Generic Modeling Environment: Project Web Site, http://www.isis.vanderbilt.edu/Projects/gme/
  13. 13.
    Gonzalez-Perez, C., Henderson-Sellers, B.: Metamodelling for Software Engineering. Wiley (2008)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
  15. 15.
    Lamo, Y., Wang, X., Mantz, F., Bech, Ø., Rutle, A.: DPF Editor: A Multi-Layer Diagrammatic (Meta)Modelling Environment. In: Proceedings of SPLST 2011: 12th Symposium on Programming Languages and Software (2011)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ledeczi, A., Maroti, M., Bakay, A., Karsai, G., Garrett, J., Thomason, C., Nordstrom, G., Sprinkle, J., Volgyesi, P.: The Generic Modeling Environment. In: Proceedings of WISP 2001: Workshop on Intelligent Signal Processing, vol. 17, pp. 82–83. ACM (2001), http://www.isis.vanderbilt.edu/sites/default/files/GME2000Overview.pdf
  17. 17.
    Lengyel, L., Levendovszky, T., Charaf, H.: Constraint Validation Support in Visual Model Transformation Systems. Acta Cybernetica 17(2), 339–357 (2005)MATHGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Object Management Group: Meta-Object Facility Specification (2006), http://www.omg.org/spec/MOF/2.0/
  19. 19.
    Object Management Group: Object Constraint Language Specification (2010), http://www.omg.org/spec/OCL/2.2/
  20. 20.
    Object Management Group: Unified Modeling Language Specification (2010), http://www.omg.org/spec/UML/2.3/
  21. 21.
    Rabbi, F., Mashiyat, A.S., MacCaull, W.: Model checking workflow monitors and its application to a pain management process. In: Proceedings of FHIES 2011: 1st International Symposium on Foundations of Health Information Engineering and Systems, pp. 110–127 (2011), http://www.iist.unu.edu/ICTAC/FHIES2011/Files/fhies2011_8_17.pdf
  22. 22.
    Reinhard, T., Seybold, C., Meier, S., Glinz, M., Merlo-Schett, N.: Human-Friendly Line Routing for Hierarchical Diagrams. In: Proceedings of ASE 2006: 21st IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering, pp. 273–276. IEEE Computer Society (2006)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rutle, A.: Diagram Predicate Framework: A Formal Approach to MDE. Ph.D. thesis, Department of Informatics, University of Bergen, Norway (2010)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Rutle, A., Rossini, A., Lamo, Y., Wolter, U.: A Diagrammatic Formalisation of MOF-Based Modelling Languages. In: Oriol, M., Meyer, B. (eds.) TOOLS EUROPE 2009. LNBIP, vol. 33, pp. 37–56. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rutle, A., Rossini, A., Lamo, Y., Wolter, U.: A Formalisation of Constraint-Aware Model Transformations. In: Rosenblum, D.S., Taentzer, G. (eds.) FASE 2010. LNCS, vol. 6013, pp. 13–28. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Steinberg, D., Budinsky, F., Paternostro, M., Merks, E.: EMF: Eclipse Modeling Framework 2.0, 2nd edn. Addison-Wesley Professional (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    TOPCASED: Project Web Site, http://www.topcased.org

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yngve Lamo
    • 1
  • Xiaoliang Wang
    • 1
  • Florian Mantz
    • 1
  • Wendy MacCaull
    • 2
  • Adrian Rutle
    • 2
  1. 1.Bergen University CollegeBergenNorway
  2. 2.St. Francis Xavier UniversityAntigonishCanada

Personalised recommendations