A Manifesto for Semantic Model Differencing

  • Shahar Maoz
  • Jan Oliver Ringert
  • Bernhard Rumpe
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6627)

Abstract

Models are heavily used in software engineering and together with their systems they evolve over time. Thus, managing their changes is an important challenge for system maintainability. Existing approaches to model differencing concentrate on heuristics matching between model elements and on finding and presenting differences at a concrete or abstract syntactic level. While showing some success, these approaches are inherently limited to comparing syntactic structures.

This paper is a manifesto for research on semantic model differencing. We present our vision to develop semantic diff operators for model comparisons: operators whose input consists of two models and whose output is a set of diff witnesses, instances of one model that are not instances of the other. In particular, if the models are syntactically different but there are no diff witnesses, the models are semantically equivalent. We demonstrate our vision using two concrete diff operators, for class diagrams and for activity diagrams. We motivate the use of semantic diff operators, briefly discuss the algorithms to compute them, list related challenges, and show their application and potential use as new fundamental building blocks for change management in model-driven engineering.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Alanen, M., Porres, I.: Difference and Union of Models. In: Stevens, P., Whittle, J., Booch, G. (eds.) UML 2003. LNCS, vol. 2863, pp. 2–17. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Altmanninger, K.: Models in Conflict – Towards a Semantically Enhanced Version Control System for Models. In: Giese, H. (ed.) MODELS 2008. LNCS, vol. 5002, pp. 293–304. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Broy, M., Cengarle, M.V., Grönniger, H., Rumpe, B.: Definition of the System Model. In: Lano, K. (ed.) UML 2 Semantics and Applications. Wiley, Chichester (2009)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cengarle, M.V., Grönniger, H., Rumpe, B.: System Model Semantics of Class Diagrams. Informatik-Bericht 2008-05, Technische Universität Braunschweig (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ebert, J., Kelter, U., Systä, T.: Workshop on comparison and versioning of software models (CVSM 2009). In: ICSE Companion, pp. 457–458 (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    Engel, K.-D., Paige, R.F., Kolovos, D.S.: Using a Model Merging Language for Reconciling Model Versions. In: Rensink, A., Warmer, J. (eds.) ECMDA-FA 2006. LNCS, vol. 4066, pp. 143–157. Springer, Heidelberg (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Evans, A., France, R.B., Peng, S.-L.: The UML as a Formal Modeling Notation. In: Bézivin, J., Muller, P.-A. (eds.) UML 1998. LNCS, vol. 1618, pp. 336–348. Springer, Heidelberg (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Harel, D., Rumpe, B.: Meaningful Modeling: What’s the Semantics of “Semantics”?. IEEE Computer 37(10), 64–72 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jackson, D.: Software Abstractions: Logic, Language, and Analysis. MIT Press, Cambridge (2006)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Krahn, H., Rumpe, B., Völkel, S.: MontiCore: a framework for compositional development of domain specific languages. Int. J. on Software Tools for Technology Transfer (STTT) 12(5), 353–372 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Küster, J.M., Gerth, C., Engels, G.: Dependent and Conflicting Change Operations of Process Models. In: Paige, R.F., Hartman, A., Rensink, A. (eds.) ECMDA-FA 2009. LNCS, vol. 5562, pp. 158–173. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mens, T., Demeyer, S. (eds.): Software Evolution. Springer, Heidelberg (2008)MATHGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    MontiCore project, http://www.monticore.org/
  15. 15.
    Ohst, D., Welle, M., Kelter, U.: Differences between versions of UML diagrams. In: Proc. ESEC / SIGSOFT FSE, pp. 227–236. ACM, New York (2003)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pnueli, A., Sa’ar, Y., Zuck, L.: JTLV: A framework for developing verification algorithms. In: Touili, T., Cook, B., Jackson, P. (eds.) CAV 2010. LNCS, vol. 6174, pp. 171–174. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
  18. 18.
    Xing, Z., Stroulia, E.: Differencing logical UML models. Autom. Softw. Eng. 14(2), 215–259 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shahar Maoz
    • 1
  • Jan Oliver Ringert
    • 1
  • Bernhard Rumpe
    • 1
  1. 1.Software EngineeringRWTH Aachen UniversityGermany

Personalised recommendations