Detecting model inconsistency through operation-based model construction

Xavier Blanc, Isabelle Mounier, Alix Mougenot, Tom Mens. Detecting model inconsistency through operation-based model construction. In Wilhelm Schäfer, Matthew B. Dwyer, Volker Gruhn, editors, 30th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2008), Leipzig, Germany, May 10-18, 2008. pages 511-520, ACM, 2008. [doi]


Nowadays, large-scale industrial software systems may involve hundreds of developers working on hundreds of different but related models representing parts of the same system specification. Detecting and resolving structural inconsistencies between these models is then critical. In this article we propose to represent models by sequences of elementary construction operations, rather than by the set of model elements they contain. Structural and methodological consistency rules can then be expressed uniformly as logical constraints on such sequences. Our approach is meta-model independent, allowing us to deal with consistency between different models whatever their kind. We have validated our approach by building a Prolog engine that detects violations of structural and methodological constraints specified on UML 2.1 models and requirement models. This engine has been integrated into two contemporary UML-based modelling environments, Eclipse EMF and Rational Software Architect.