Scalability in MDE

From AtlanMod

The increasing adoption of Model-Driven Engineering in industrial contexts highlights scalability as a critical limitation. Indeed, several Model-driven tools show critical efficiency limitations in handling very large models (VLMs), e.g. models made by millions of model elements, not unusual in real-life industrial scenarios (Examples of such models appear both at development time, e.g. while reverse-engineering big systems and runtime, e.g. coming from a set of sensors, from OpenData repositories or when building applications on social networks). Moreover, the proliferation of models produced as input-outputs of software engineering tasks at development/maintenance time also highlights scalability problems in the management of the model artifacts.


In order to tackle the scalability problem we research solutions based in three main axes:

  • Efficient Execution. Performing just the required work on models improves scalability, as only parts of VLM need to be loaded and manipulated. We provide the following support for the efficient execution of model-to-model transformations:
    • Incremental execution of ATL transformations
    • Lazy execution of ATL transformations
  • Distributed Execution. Performing an efficient execution may help with scalability problems by focusing the tasks in the required part of a VLM. However, this is not always the case and we could be constraint to perform operations in the whole model. In this scenario, a solution for the scalability problem would be the distribution of the operation so that the problem is decomposed in smaller problems easily manageable with current tools.
  • Model Management and Coordination. For the management of the increasing number of artifacts produced in model-driven tasks we provide the following features
    • Support for composing, weaving or simply linking of VLMs in a transparent and efficient way with Virtual EMF.
    • Provide a practical support for modeling in the large, i.e. dealing with global resource management in a model-engineering environment with AM3.

Current research topics

  • Parallelization of model transformations
  • Reactivity in model-driven environments
  • Coupling MDE with cloud-based platforms


  • Reactive ATL : Experimental reactive transformation engine for ATL
  • Parallel ATL : Experimental parallel transformation engine for ATL
  • Virtual EMF: Model virtualization/composition engine
  • Moscript : the Moscript model query and management language

Main publications

  • Cauê Clasen, Frédéric Jouault, and Jordi Cabot. VirtualEMF: a Model Virtualization Tool. In ER 2011 Workshops (Advances in Conceptual Modeling. Recent Developments and New Directions), Brussels, Belgium, October 2011
  • Massimo Tisi; Salvador Martínez; Frédéric Jouault; Jordi Cabot. Lazy Execution of Model-to-Model Transformations. In Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems, 14th International Conference, MODELS 2011), Wellington, New Zealand, October 2011
  • Andrés Vignaga, Frédéric Jouault, María Cecilia Bastarrica, and Hugo Brunelière. Typing Artifacts in Megamodeling. In Journal on Software and System Modeling (Springer), Volume 10 Number 1 - Special Section, February 2011
  • Jean Bézivin, Frédéric Jouault, and Patick Valduriez. On the Need for Megamodels. In Best Practices for Model-Driven Software Development Workshop (co-located with OOPSLA 2004 and GPCE 2004), Vancouver, Canada, October 25, 2004

Other publications

  • Cauê Clasen, Frédéric Jouault, and Jordi Cabot. Virtual Composition of EMF Models. In 7èmes Journées sur l'Ingénierie Dirigée par les Modèles (IDM 2011), Lille, France, July 2011
  • Andrés Vignaga and Frédéric Jouault and Maria Cecilia Bastarrica and Hugo Brunelière. Typing in Model Management. In International Conference on Model Transformation (ICMT 2009), pages 197-212, Zurich, Switzerland, June 29-30, 2009
  • Mathias Fritzsche, Hugo Brunelière, Bert Vanhooff, Yolande Berbers, Frederic Jouault, and Wasif Gilani. Applying Megamodelling to Model-Driven Performance Engineering. In 16th IEEE International Conference and Workshop on the Engineering of Computer Based Systems (ECBS 2009), San Fransisco, California, USA, April 13-16, 2009
  • Mikaël Barbero and Jean Bézivin. [ Structured Libraries of Models.]. In First International Workshop on Towers of Models - TOWERS 2007 (co-located with TOOLS EUROPE 2007), Zurich, Switzerland, June 25, 2007
  • Jean Bézivin, Frédéric Jouault, Peter Rosenthal, and Patick Valduriez. Modeling in the Large and Modeling in the Small. In Proceedings of the European MDA Workshops: Foundations and Applications, MDAFA 2003 and MDAFA 2004, LNCS 3599, edited by Uwe Aßmann, Mehmet Aksit, Arend Rensink. Springer-Verlag GmbH, pages 33-46, 2005
  • Freddy Allilaire, Jean Bézivin, Hugo Brunelière, and Frédéric Jouault. Global Model Management In Eclipse GMT/AM3. In Proceedings of the Eclipse Technology eXchange workshop - eTX (co-located with ECOOP 2006), Nantes, France, July 4, 2006