ReMoDeL: Reusable Model Design Languages

Generating software systems by model transformation and adaptation

You are here: ReMoDeL Home /
Department of Computer Science

The ReMoDeL Home Page

Assembled pieces of design

The Mission

ReMoDeL, an acronym for Reusable Model Design Languages, is an international research project, coordinated by the University of Sheffield, UK that aims to realise Model-Driven Engineering (MDE). This is a general strategy in software engineering that seeks to generate executable software systems directly from design models, rather than by writing programs in specific programming languages. ReMoDeL is inspired by, and shares some of the goals of, the Object Management Group's specific initiative to develop a framework known as Model-Driven Architecture (MDA), but is not unduly constrained by any requirement to replicate all the richness and detail of OMG standard languages (UML, MOF, QVT, OCL). Instead, the aim of ReMoDeL is to realise a simpler proof-of-concept using minimalist techniques and to develop a reference implementation.

Grand Challenge

The context for the ReMoDeL Project is an attempt to tackle some of the outstanding Grand Challenges in software engineering. These include the following themes:

  • Model-Driven Engineering (MDE): is the idea that, in future, software systems will not be constructed by writing lines of program code, but at a higher level of abstraction, using appropriate design models.
  • Program-It-Yourself (PIY): is the idea that, in future, business end-users should be able to specify the kinds of systems that they need, using domain-specific languages tailored to express their requirements directly.
  • Scrap-Heap Challenge (SHC): is the idea that, in future, software will be cannibalised from existing systems, but not at the code-level, rather at the model-level, from which new systems will be automatically generated.
  • Self-Verification and Test (SVT): is the idea that, in future, models will be correct-by-construction, and generated code will be automatically tested against the models, and be self-monitoring for correct runtime behaviour.
  • Hit the Moving Target (HMT): is the idea that the software tools and methods used to assemble systems will be agile and flexible enough to achieve all the above, while the system's requirements are constantly changing.
  • Business as Usual (BAU): is the idea that, no matter what changes are made to the system, business data will be kept safe and there will be no interruptions to normal service.

The Approach

The approach taken by the ReMoDeL Project is to design a series of models and languages at different levels of abstraction, ranging from high-level languages representing data and processes, to low-level languages representing programming language instructions. A number of core technologies are deployed:

  • XML is used as the core technology for representing models; and various model languages are defined in XML, later specified using XML schemas.
  • A generic framework, currently written in Java, is deployed both to transform and also to translate models into other models, or programming languages.
  • The layered modelling approach is intended to allow design constraints and standard solutions to be applied at the correct level of abstraction.

The results and products of this research will be published as they emerge. Please refer to links in the margin, or at the head of each page, to find out more about specific model specifications and software tools.

Reusable pieces of design

ReMoDeL Partners

The ReMoDeL Project is a collaborative effort, involving partners at a number of sites in Europe. The links below are restricted to the project partners.

Regent Court, 211 Portobello, Sheffield S1 4DP, United Kingdom