A Comparison of Rule Inheritance in Model-to-Model Transformation Languages

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6707)


Although model transformations presumably play a major role in Model-Driven Engineering, reuse mechanisms such as inheritance have received little attention so far. In this paper, we propose a comparison framework for rule inheritance in declarative model-to-model transformation languages, and provide an in-depth evaluation of three prominent representatives thereof, namely ATL, ETL (declarative subsets thereof), and TGGs. The framework provides criteria for comparison along orthogonal dimensions, covering static aspects, which indicate whether a set of inheriting transformation rules is well-formed at compile-time, and dynamic aspects, which describe how inheriting rules behave at run-time. The application of this framework to dedicated transformation languages shows that, while providing similar syntactical inheritance concepts, they exhibit different dynamic inheritance semantics and offer basic support for checking static inheritance semantics, only.


Rule Inheritance Model Transformations Comparison 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Agrawal, R., Demichiel, L.G., Lindsay, B.G.: Static Type Checking of Multi-Methods. In: Proc. of OOPSLA 1991, pp. 113–128 (1991)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Aho, A., Sethi, R., Ullman, J.: Compilers: Principles, Techniques,and Tools. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1986)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Amiel, E., Dujardin, E.: Supporting explicit disambiguation of multi-methods. In: Cointe, P. (ed.) ECOOP 1996. LNCS, vol. 1098, pp. 167–188. Springer, Heidelberg (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bardohl, R., Ehrig, H., de Lara, J., Taentzer, G.: Integrating Meta-modelling Aspects with Graph Transformation for Efficient Visual Language Definition and Model Manipulation. In: Wermelinger, M., Margaria-Steffen, T. (eds.) FASE 2004. LNCS, vol. 2984, pp. 214–228. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bézivin, J.: On the Unification Power of Models. SoSyM Journal 4(2) (2005)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chambers, C.: Object-Oriented Multi-Methods in Cecil. In: ECOOP 1992. LNCS, vol. 615, pp. 33–56. Springer, Heidelberg (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Czarnecki, K., Helsen, S.: Feature-based Survey of Model Transformation Approaches. IBM Systems Journal 45(3), 621–645 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    de Lara, J., Guerra, E.: Generic meta-modelling with concepts, templates and mixin layers. In: Petriu, D.C., Rouquette, N., Haugen, Ø. (eds.) MODELS 2010. LNCS, vol. 6394, pp. 16–30. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jouault, F., Kurtev, I.: Transforming Models with ATL. In: Proc. of the Model Transformations in Practice Workshop (2005)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Klar, F., Königs, A., Schürr, A.: Model transformation in the large. In: Proc. of ESEC-FSE 2007, pp. 285–294 (2007)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kolovos, D., Paige, R., Polack, F.: The epsilon transformation language. In: Proc. of ICMT 2008, pp. 46–60 (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Liskov, B., Wing, J.M.: A new definition of the subtype relation. In: Cardelli, L. (ed.) ECOOP 2003. LNCS, vol. 2743, pp. 118–141. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ma, H., Shao, W., Zhang, L., Ma, Z., Jiang, Y.: Applying OO metrics to assess UML meta-models. In: Baar, T., Strohmeier, A., Moreira, A., Mellor, S.J. (eds.) UML 2004. LNCS, vol. 3273, pp. 12–26. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    OMG. Meta Object Facility (MOF) 2.0 Query/View/Transformation Specification (2009),
  15. 15.
    Sakkinen, M.: Disciplined Inheritance. In: Proc. of ECOOP 1989, pp. 39–56 (1989)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Taivalsaari, A.: On the notion of inheritance. ACM Comput. Surv. 28(3), 438–479 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Varró, D., Pataricza, A.: Generic and meta-transformations for model transformation engineering. In: Baar, T., Strohmeier, A., Moreira, A., Mellor, S.J. (eds.) UML 2004. LNCS, vol. 3273, pp. 290–304. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wagelaar, D., Van Der Straeten, R., Deridder, D.: Module superimposition: a composition technique for rule-based model transformation languages. SoSyM Journal 9, 285–309 (2010)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wimmer, M., Kappel, G., Kusel, A., Retschitzegger, W., Schoenboeck, J., Schwinger, W.: Surviving the heterogeneity jungle with composite mapping operators. In: Tratt, L., Gogolla, M. (eds.) ICMT 2010. LNCS, vol. 6142, pp. 260–275. Springer, Heidelberg (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vienna University of TechnologyAustria
  2. 2.Johannes Kepler University LinzAustria
  3. 3.University of YorkUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Darmstadt University of TechnologyGermany
  5. 5.AtlanMod (INRIA & École des Mines de Nantes)France

Personalised recommendations