This JOT special section contains two carefully selected papers from the fourth edition of The International Conference on Model Transformation (ICMT 2011) held on June 27–28, 2011 in Zürich, Switzerland.
Modelling is a key element in reducing the complexity of software systems during their development and maintenance. Model transformations are essential for elevating models from documentation elements to first-class artifacts of the development process. Model transformation includes model-to-text transformation to generate code from models, text-to-model transformations to parse textual representations to model representations, model extraction to derive higher-level models from legacy code, and model-to-model transformations to normalize, weave, optimize, and refactor models, as well as to translate between modeling languages.
Model transformation encompasses a variety of technical spaces, including modelware, grammarware, and XML-ware, a variety of transformation representations including graphs, trees, and DAGs, and a variety of transformation paradigms including rule-based graph transformation, term rewriting, and implementations in general-purpose programming languages.
The study of model transformation includes foundations, semantics, structuring mechanisms, and properties (such as modularity, composability, and parameterization) of transformations, transformation languages, techniques and tools. An important goal of the field is the development of high-level declarative model transformation languages, providing model representations of transformations that are amenable to ‘higher-order’ model transformation. To achieve impact on software engineering practice, tools and methodologies to integrate model transformation into existing development environments and processes are required.
ICMT is the premier forum for the presentation of contributions that advance the state-of-the-art in the field of model transformation and aims to bring together researchers from all areas of model transformation.
The 2011 edition of the conference received 62 abstracts, of which 51 materialized as full papers, and 14 were eventually selected — a 27% acceptance rate. Each submission was reviewed by at least 3 program committee members and on average by 4 program committee members. One of the submitted papers was also submitted to TOOLS Europe 2011 and was rejected by both conferences without reviews. Three papers were first conditionally accepted and subjected to a review of the revision taking into account reviewer comments. The program also includes an invited talk and paper by Alexander Egyed, who unfolded his research agenda for smart assistance in interactive model transformation.
In the first paper of this special section, Wimmer et al. present a framework for the classification of model-to-model transformation languages according to the rule-inheritance mechanisms they implement, covering both syntactic and semantics aspects. The framework is used to classify three prominent transformation languages: ATL, ETL and a forthcoming implementation of TGGs atop MOFLON. In the second paper, Jesús Sánchez Cuadrado, Esther Guerra and Juan De Lara outline how model transformations can be made generic, so that the same transformation can be used in a number of distinct instances. The particular mechanism allows a transformation to be associated to a number of meta-models, and for transformations to be effected for all the instances of such a meta-model.
We thank the people who made this special section possible. Most importantly, we thank the referees for giving of their time to thoroughly and thoughtfully review and re-review papers, and to the authors who put such hard work into the several revisions from conference submission to journal acceptance.