Rigorous identification and encoding of trace-links in model-driven engineering

Richard Paige, Nikolaos Drivalos, Dimitrios Kolovos, Kiran Fernandes, Christopher Power, Goran Olsen, Steffen Zschaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Model-driven engineering (MDE) involves the construction and manipulation of many models of different kinds in an engineering process. In principle, models can be used in the product engineering lifecycle in an end-to-end manner for representing requirements, designs and implementations, and assisting in deployment and maintenance. The manipulations applied to models may be manual, but they can also be automated—for example, using model transformations, code generation, and validation. To enhance automated analysis, consistency and coherence of models used in an MDE process, it is useful to identify, establish and maintain trace-links between models. However, the breadth and scope of trace-links that can be used in MDE is substantial, and managing trace-link information can be very complex. In this paper, we contribute to managing the complexity of traceability information in MDE in two ways: firstly, we demonstrate how to identify the different kinds of trace-links that may appear in an end-to-end MDE process; secondly, we describe a rigorous approach to defining semantically rich trace-links between models, where the models themselves may be constructed using diverse modelling languages. The definition of rich trace-links allows us to use tools to maintain and analyse traceability relationships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-487
Number of pages19
JournalSoftware and Systems Modeling
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010

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