Lightweight Extension of Modeling Languages with EMF Profiles

If you are interested in this topic, please contact Philip Langer and Tanja Mayerhofer.

Domain-Specific Modeling Languages (DSMLs) are getting more and more attention as a key element of Model Driven Engineering. As any other software artefact, DSMLs should continuously evolve to adapt to the changing needs of the domain they represent. Unfortunately, right now evolution of DSMLs is a costly process that requires changing its metamodel and re-creating the complete modeling environment.

EMF Profiles is an open-source project developed at the Business Informatics Group, which adopts the notion of UML profiles for DSMLs in the Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF). Profiles have been a key enabler for the success of UML by providing a lightweight language-inherent extension mechanism which is expressive enough to cover an important subset of adaptation scenarios. We believe a similar concept for DSMLs would provide an easier extension mechanism which has been so far neglected by current metamodeling tools. Apart from direct metamodel profiles, we also propose reusable profile definition mechanisms whereby profiles are defined independently of any DSML and, later on, coupled with all DSMLs that can benefit from these profiles. Our approach has been implemented in a prototype integrated in the EMF environment.

In the course of a practical, bachelor thesis, or master thesis, you can contribute to this open-source project by designing and implementing new features, investigate potential use cases of EMF Profiles, explore current limitations or benefits of EMF Profiles in comparison to other language extension mechanisms, and so on.

If you are interested in this topic, don’t hesitate to contact Philip Langer (langer[at]big.tuwien.ac.at).