Introduction to the Meta’16 Workshop Special Issue

Filed under: Announcement,Issue TOC,Special Section Editorial — Alfonso Pierantonio @ 18:25

Guest Editors: Elisa Gonzalez Boixa (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Stefan Marr (University of Kent)


This special issue represents a selection of the best papers of the workshop on Meta-Programming Techniques and Reflection 2016 (Meta’16). Meta’16 was held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in October 2016 co-located with SPLASH’16.

Meta is an ACM SIGPLAN workshop for discussing research on metaprogramming and reflection. %, as well as users building applications, language extensions, or software tools using them.
The changing hardware and software landscape, and the increased heterogeneity of systems make metaprogramming once more an important research topic to handle the associate complexity. The scope of the workshop includes a wide range of topics related to design, implementation, and application of metaprogramming techniques, as well as empirical studies on and typing for such systems and languages.

The workshop welcomes mature contributions as well as work-in-progress contributions. A formal refereeing process selects a high-quality set of papers from those submitted at the workshop. Mature contributions are formally published in the workshop proceeding published electronically in the ACM Digital Library. The rest of papers are informally published at the workshop website. The JOT journal version of the papers offered an opportunity for the authors to take a longer term view of their research work and to present new results since the original presentation at Meta’16.

Meta’16 received 14 submissions, of which 7 full papers and 3 short papers were accepted and presented at the workshop. The guest editors of this special issue selected seven papers from Meta’16 workshop and invited their authors to submit an extended version of their paper, including at least 30\% of novel material. All papers have been reviewed by at least three reviewers, and have followed the reviewing process of the JOT journal until the final decision for each paper was reached.

After the journal’s rigorous reviewing process, the editors of this special issue finally selected the following two papers for publication:

  • Yutaro Tsunekawa, Taichi Tomioka, Kazunori Ueda. \textit{Implementation of LMNtal Model Checkers: a Metaprogramming Approach.} This paper discusses an approach for a meta-circular interpreter for prototyping model checkers.
  • Pablo Tesone, Guillermo Polito, Noury Bouraqadi, Stéphane Ducasse, Luc Fabresse. \textit{Dynamic Software Update from Development to Production.} This paper discusses a software update solution suitable for live programming environments.

As editors of this special issue, we hope you will enjoy the selection of papers.  We would like to sincerely thank the Meta’16 program committee and the anonymous referees who provided extensive feedback on the submitted papers; their reviews helped both authors and us, guest editors, to improve the quality of the submissions.




CIBSE Special Section

Filed under: Special Section Editorial — Tijs van der Storm @ 14:03

This special issue contains three extended and peer reviewed papers from the 18th edition of the Ibero-American Conference on Software Engineering (CIBSE), which was held in Lima, Peru from April 22 to 24, 2015. CIBSE was conceived as a space dedicated to the dissemination of research results and activities, encouraging dialogue between scientists, educators, professionals and students of Software Engineering.

CIBSE consists of three tracks. The issues related to Requirements Engineering were in the WER track, while Experimental Software Engineering topics were handled by ESELAW track. All issues related to software production process and contemporary approaches to automation and quality improvement were discussed in the SET Track. For this special section, we selected one best paper from each track, which were extended and reviewed in two rounds. The three papers were refereed by three well-known experts in the field. The selected papers are the described as follows:

  • Sergio Miranda, Elder Rodrigues, Marco Tulio Valente, Ricardo Terra in their paper entitled “Architecture Conformance Checking in Dynamically Typed Languages” present an architectural conformance and visualization approach based on static code analysis techniques and on a lightweight type propagation heuristic. The main idea of the paper is to provide the developers’ community with means to control the architectural erosion process by reporting architectural violations and visualizing them in high-level architectural models, such as reflexion models and DSMs. The approach is supported by the ArchRuby tool.
  • Christian Quesada-Lopez and Marcelo Jenkins in their paper entitled “Function Point Structure and Applicability: A Replicated Study” report on a family of replications carried out on a subset of the ISBSG R12 dataset to evaluate the structure and applicability of function points. The goal of this replication is to aggregate evidence about internal issues of Function point analysis (FPA) as a metric, and to confirm previous results using a different set of data. The results aggregated evidence and confirmed that some BFCs (Base Functional Component ) of the FPA method are correlated. A prediction model based on transactions or external inputs appear to be as good as a model based on UFP. Simplifying the FPA measurement procedure based on counting a subset of BFCs could improve measurement process efficiency and simplify prediction models while allowing savings in measurement effort, and preserving the accuracy of effort estimates.
  • Leandro Antonelli, Gustavo Rossi, and Alejandro Oliveiros in their paper entitled “A Collaborative Approach to Describe the Domain Language through the Language Extended Lexicon” propose an approach to specify a domain specific language (DSL) to capture requirements in a collaborative way using Language Extended Lexicon. Defining a domain specific language to specifying requirements is a way to diminish the level of incompleteness and deal with the possible conflicts that do arise in the requirements context. The authors rely on collaboration to foster the involvement and cooperation of the stakeholders, thus the stakeholders are able to explore the differences constructively and provide a common understanding of the domain language beyond their own limited views.

We hope the readers enjoy these three papers and find them relevant and useful. Finally, we would like to thank the CIBSE organizers, the authors, the reviewers and the JOT editorial board for making this special section possible.

PC Chairs

  • João Araújo, NOVA LINCS, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Nelly Condori Fernandez, VU Univ. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

SET Track Chairs 

  • Nelly Bencomo,  Aston University, UK
  • Toacy Oliveira, COPPE, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

WER Track Chairs

  • Jose Luis de La Vara, Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain
  • Isabel Brito, Instituto Politécnico de Beja, Portugal

ESELAW Track Chairs 

  • Miguel Goulao, NOVA LINCS, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, Portugal
  • Santiago Matalonga, Universidad ORT Uruguay,  Uruguay


ICOOLPS 2010 and MASPEGHI 2010 Special Section

Filed under: Special Section Editorial — markku @ 13:46

At ECOOP 2010 in Maribor, Slovenia, the two workshops MASPEGHI (MechAnisms for SPEcialization, Generalization and inHerItance) and ICOOOLPS (Implementation, Compilation, Optimization of Object-Oriented Languages, Programs and Systems) were combined because both were rather small and shared common concerns, their topic areas being strongly related. Six papers had been accepted to MASPEGHI, but only five were presented because the authors of one paper could not attend the conference and workshop. Three papers had been accepted to ICOOOLPS, and all were also presented.

The workshop authors were later asked to submit extended versions of their papers for possible publication in this special section. We received two extended papers from ICOOOLPS and one from MASPEGHI. They were carefully reviewed by three reviewers each, and then revised by the authors according to the reviewers’ comments. In our opinion, all revised papers were interesting, of high quality and significantly extended from the workshop versions. One of them, however, needed more work from its authors, and they could not complete it within a reasonable time. As a consequence, only two extended, reviewed and revised papers are now published in this special section.

Olivier Zendra (for ICOOOLPS),
Markku Sakkinen (for MASPEGHI)

International Workshop on Model Comparison Special Section

Filed under: Special Section Editorial — Tags: — ddr @ 13:46

This JOT special section contains three extended and peer reviewed papers obtained from the first and second editions of the International Workshop on Model Comparison in Practice (IWMCP), and an additional paper selected outside the contributions of the workshop. The first edition of IWMCP was held on July 1st, 2010 in Malaga, Spain, whereas the second edition was held on May 30, 2011 in Prague, Czech Republic. Both have been organized as satellite events of the TOOLS Europe conference.

Model Driven Engineering elevates models to first class artefacts of the software development process. To facilitate multi-user collaboration and enable version management and seamless evolution of models and metamodels, support for robust and performant model comparison and differencing mechanisms is essential. Previous research has demonstrated that mechanisms used for comparison and differencing of text-based artefacts (e.g. source code) are not sufficient for comparing models, as they are unaware of the structure and the semantics of the compared artefacts.

To date, several model-specific model comparison approaches have been proposed, each demonstrating different characteristics and focusing on particular sub-problems. For instance, model comparison techniques have been adopted for software refactoring, for transformation testing, to support the coupled evolution of metamodel and models, or to analyse existing artefacts with respect to some criteria. However the consensus is that this research area is still young and more research is required in order to achieve the full potential of model comparison.

The goal of IWMCP has been to bring together both researchers in the area of model comparison and differencing to report novel results, and adopters of existing approaches to present their experiences and provide insights on issues encountered when applying these approaches in practice.

In the first paper of this special section, Antonio Cicchetti, Federico Ciccozzi, and Thomas Leveque present an approach to support the concurrent versioning of metamodels and models. The proposed techniques exploit model comparison and merging mechanisms to provide a solution to issues related to concurrent and even misaligned evolution of both metamodels and models. In the second paper, Petra Brosch, Martina Seidl, Manuel Wimmer and Gerti Kappel propose the means to visualize and merge conflicts between concurrently evolved versions of a UML model. The profile mechanism of UML is leveraged to enable modelers to resolve conflicts within the used UML editor. In the third paper, Ludovico Iovino, Alfonso Pierantonio, and Ivano Malavolta deal with the problem of coupled evolution of metamodels and related artifacts. In particular, the authors propose an approach to i) establish relationships between the domain metamodel and its related artifacts, and ii) automatically identify those elements within the various artifacts affected by the metamodel changes. In the fourth paper, Philip Langer, Manuel Wimmer, Jeff Gray, Gerti Kappel, and Antonio Vallecillo propose the adoption of signifiers to enhance the different phases of the versioning process including comparing and merging models. In particular, signifiers are applied to specify the natural identifier of a model element to eliminate the issues related to the adoption of approaches based on artificial universally unique identifiers (UUIDs).

We would like to thank everyone who has made this special section possible. In particular, we are obliged to the referees for giving off their time to thoroughly and thoughtfully review and re-review papers, to the authors for their hard work on several revisions of their papers, from workshop submission to journal acceptance, and to the JOT editorial board for organising this special issue.

Davide Di Ruscio, University of L’Aquila
Dimitris Kolovos, University of York


ICMT 2011 Special Section

Filed under: Special Section Editorial — Tags: — jordicabot @ 11:37

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.

Jordi Cabot
Eelco Visser

August 2012

RefTest 2011 Special Section

Filed under: Special Section Editorial — Tags: , , — stevecounsell @ 11:37

Refactoring has become an essential part of a developer’s skill set and research in the area has blossomed over the past ten years. Testing plays a fundamental role in the refactoring process in ensuring that any refactoring preserves the meaning. Their crossover is therefore an important one. This Special Section presents aspects of refactoring research from three different, yet important perspectives. Three extended papers are included from the Refactoring and Testing (RefTest) Workshop held in 2011 as part of the IEEE International Conference on Software Testing (ICST), Berlin between March 21st and 25th. The purpose of the RefTest Workshop funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council of the UK was to bring together academics and practitioners to foster ways of tackling current problems in the area; the three papers have a strong industrial resonance and relevance.

Steve Counsell
Stephen Swift
August 2011


TOOLS Europe 2011 — Special Section

Filed under: Special Section Editorial — Tags: — avallecillo @ 21:14

Now that object technology is mainstream, it can be studied in combination with other technologies devoted to achieving high quality software. This Special Section of JOT presents aspects of object technology and related fields, in particular model-based development, component-based development, language implementation and patterns, in a holistic way. The papers have a strong practical bias, without losing sight of the importance of correctness and performance. It presents seven selected and extended papers from the 49th International Conference on Objects, Models, Components and Patterns (TOOLS Europe 2011 http://toolseurope2011.lcc.uma.es/) held on June 28–30, 2011 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland, organized by the Chair of Software Engineering.


GPCE 2009 Special Section

Filed under: Special Section Editorial — Tags: — fisch @ 15:58

This special section presents two extended papers from the Eighth International Conference on Generative Programming and Component Engineering (GPCE’09), which was held October 4-5, 2009, in Denver, Colorado. GPCE has become the premier venue for research in generative and component-oriented programming. GPCE’09 attracted 62 submissions, of which 19 were accepted, a 31% acceptance rate.

For this special section, we invited the authors of the highest ranked papers to submit revised and extended versions of their conference contributions to this JOT special section, and received three submissions. After an additional round of reviewing, two of them were accepted, and we are proud to publish them here.

We would like to thank the authors and reviewers, of both the conference and this special section, for their efforts, and hope you enjoy the results.

Bernd Fischer (Guest Editor)
Oscar Nierstrasz (Editor-in-Chief)

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