Prevalent programming and modeling languages are mostly characterized by one level of classification only. While this seems to be natural to most of us, since we are used to working with these languages, this limitation has serious implications that regard the productivity of system development, the integration of systems and their adaptability to new requirements. It also represents an obstacle to the beneficial use of Domain-Specific Languages (DSML).
Based on an outline of the frustration cumulated through working with the dominating language paradigm, core concepts of multi-level language architectures are presented, and it is shown how they are suited to overcome the pitfalls of the current paradigm. Multi-Level Modeling is then illustrated using the executable "Flexible Multi-Level Modeling Language" (FMMLx). It is implemented in the XModelerML, a language engineering and execution environment that is under development in the project LE4MM. Since it allows for a common representation of models and programs, there is no need for generating code (and keeping two separate representations of both in synch). It allows navigating conceptual models of software systems, such us enterprise models, to be navigated and modified at runtime. During the talk, the design, implementation, and use of a small DSML will be demonstrated.
Ulrich Frank holds the chair of Information Systems and Enterprise Modeling at the Institute of Computer Science and Business Information Systems at the University of Duisburg-Essen. His main research topic is enterprise modelling, i.e. the development and evaluation of modelling languages, methods and corresponding tools. In recent years, he focused especially on multi-level language architectures. Together with Tony Clark from Aston University, he conducts the project “Language Engineering for Multi-level Modeling” (LE4MM). The project aims at further developing an integrated meta-modeling and meta-programming environment and, based on that, at the development of new self-referential enterprise systems that integrate enterprise software with conceptual models of themselves and the context they operate in at run time.
Ulrich Frank is on the editorial board of various journals such as “Software and Systems Modeling”, “Information Systems and E-Business Management”, and the “Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures”. He has been actively involved in numerous conferences and various major research projects. Also, he served as the spokesman of the German Business Informatics Community within the German Informatics Society. He is a review board member of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German National Science Foundation) and the founding director of the international student exchange network IS.