Bart Meyers   
Postdoctoral Researcher
Modelling, Simulation and Design Lab
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
University of Antwerp
Middelheimcampus, G 3.17
1, Middelheimlaan
Belgium 2020
+32 3 265 32 79
+32 3 265 37 77
Bart Meyers     

I am currently a member of the MSDL (Modelling, Simulation and Design Lab) under supervision of Prof. Hans Vangheluwe. I am a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Antwerp.

I am a post-doctoral assistant at the University of Antwerp.

In 2009 and 2010, my research addressed evolution of modelling languages in the context of model-driven engineering. From 2010 onwards, I am investigating the modulair design of domain-specific modelling languages. Modular design can then tackle the complexity of language evolution.

From 2013, I have been working on verification for domain-specific modelling. This resulted in the ProMoBox approach, a generative approach for the specification and verification of properties at the domain-specific level.

I completed my PhD in February 2016.

Publications, Reports, Theses & Presentations
[26] (conference paper) Bart Meyers, Joachim Denil, István Dávid, and Hans Vangheluwe. Automated Testing Support for Reactive Domain-Specific Modelling Languages. In "Proceedings of the 2016 ACM SIGPLAN International Conference on Software Language Engineering". ACM digital library, p. 181-194, 2016. DOI
[25] (workshop paper) Simon Van Mierlo, Yentl Van Tendeloo, Bart Meyers, Joeri Exelmans, and Hans Vangheluwe. SCCD: SCXML Extended with Class Diagrams. In "Proceedings of 3rd Workshop on Engineering Interactive Systems with SCXML", workshop in conjunction with EICS 2016, Brussels, Belgium June 21st - 24th, 2016.
[24] (book chapter) Simon Van Mierlo, Yentl Van Tendeloo, Bart Meyers, and Hans Vangheluwe. Domain-Specific Modelling for Human-Computer Interaction. To be published, 2016.
[23] (PhD thesis) Bart Meyers. A Multi-Paradigm Modelling Approach to the Design and Evolution of Domain-Specific Modelling Languages. University of Antwerp, February, 2016.
[22] (workshop paper) Bart Meyers, Rumuald Deshayes, Tom Mens, and Hans Vangheluwe. Generating Domain-Specific Property Languages with ProMoBox: application to interactive systems. In "Proceedings of the Workshop on Formal Methods in Human Computer Interaction 2015", FoMHCI '15, part of the 7th ACM SIGCHI Symposium on Engineering Interactive Computing Systems (EICS), p. 47-48, 2015.
[21] (conference paper) Joachim Denil, Bart Meyers, Bart Pussig, Paul De Meulenaere and Hans Vangheluwe. Explicit Semantic Adaptation of Hybrid Formalisms for FMI Co-Simulation. In "Proceedings of the 2015 Symposium on Theory of Modeling and Simulation - DEVS", TMS/DEVS '15, part of the Spring Simulation Multi-Conference, p. 852-859, 2015.
[20] (workshop paper) Romuald Deshayes, Bart Meyers, Tom Mens and Hans Vangheluwe. ProMoBox in Practice : A Case Study on the GISMO Domain-Specific Modelling Language. In "Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Multi-Paradigm Modeling (MPM 2014)", CEUR Workshop Proceedings, vol. 1237, p. 21-30, 2014. DOI
[19] (workshop paper) Bart Meyers and Hans Vangheluwe. A Multi-Paradigm Modelling Approach for the Engineering of Modelling Languages. In "Proceedings of the Doctoral Symposium of the ACM/IEEE 17th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems", CEUR Workshop Proceedings, vol. 1321, p. 1-8, 2014.
[18] (conference paper) Bart Meyers, Romuald Deshayes, Levi Lucio, Eugene Syriani, Manuel Wimmer and Hans Vangheluwe. ProMoBox: A Framework for Generating Domain-Specific Property Languages. In "Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Software Languages Engineering (SLE 2014)", Lecture Notes on Computer Science, vol. 8706, p. 1-20, 2014. DOI
[17] (workshop paper) Bart Meyers, Manuel Wimmer, and Hans Vangheluwe. Towards Domain-specific Property Languages: The ProMoBox Approach. In "Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Workshop on Domain-specific Modeling", p. 39-44, ACM New York, NY, USA, 2013. DOI
[16] (workshop paper) Bart Meyers, Joachim Denil, Frédéric Boulanger, Cécile Hardebolle, Christophe Jacquet, and Hans Vangheluwe. A DSL for Explicit Semantic Adaptation. In "7th International Workshop on Multi-Paradigm Modeling (MPM'13)", CEUR Workshop Proceedings, vol. 1112, p. 47-56, 2013.
[15] (workshop paper) Bart Meyers, Antonio Cicchetti, Esther Guerra, Juan de Lara. Composing Textual Modelling Languages in Practice. In "6th International Workshop on Multi-Paradigm Modeling (MPM'12)", p. 31-36, ACM New York, NY, USA, 2012. DOI
[14] (workshop paper) Tim Molderez, Bart Meyers, Dirk Janssens, Hans Vangheluwe. Towards an Aspect-oriented Language Module: Aspects for Petri Nets. In "Proceedings of the seventh workshop on Domain-Specific Aspect Languages", p. 21-26, ACM New York, NY, USA, 2012. DOI
[13] (poster) Bart Meyers. Modular Design of Modelling Languages. Presented at MoVES annual event.
[12] (journal paper) Bart Meyers, Manuel Wimmer, Antonio Cicchetti, and Jonathan Sprinkle. A generic in-place transformation-based approach to structured model co-evolution. In "Electronic Communications of the European Association of Software Science and Technology (EASST)", 42:1-13, 2012.
[11] (journal paper) Bart Meyers and Hans Vangheluwe. A framework for evolution of modelling languages. Science of Computer Programming, 76(12):1223-1246, Elsevier North-Holland, Inc. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, December 2011. DOI
[10] (presentation) Bart Meyers. Modular Design of Domain-Specific Languages. October 13, 2010. Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium.
[9] (workshop paper) Manuel Wimmer, Antonio Cicchetti and Bart Meyers. Abstract and Concrete Syntax Migration of Instance Models. In "Proceedings of the ICMT 2010 Transformation Tool Contest", published digitally, 2010.
[8] (workshop paper) Bart Meyers, Peter Ebraert and Dirk Janssens. Intensional changes avoid co-evolution! In "Proceedings of the 7th ECOOP'2010 Workshop on Reflection, AOP and Meta-Data for Software Evolution", p. 4:1--4:6, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2010. DOI
[7] (presentation) Bart Meyers. Short presentation on MoVES meeting. March 17, 2010. Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium.
[6] (workshop paper) Bart Meyers and Hans Vangheluwe. Evolution of modelling languages. In The eighth BElgian-NEtherlands software eVOLution seminar (BENEVOL), pages 43 - 47, December 2009. Universite catholique de Louvain, Belgium.    [presentation]
[5] (workshop paper) Bart Meyers and Hans Vangheluwe. Evolution of modelling languages. In Pieter Van Gorp, editor, Fujaba Days 2009: proceedings of the seventh international Fujaba days, pages 29 - 33. Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, November 2009. Eindhoven, The Netherlands.    [presentation]
[4] (presentation) Bart Meyers. Hybrid Rule Scheduling in Story Driven Modeling - a tool-independent approach. Ansymo Meetings, July 2009.
[3] (workshop paper) Olaf Muliawan, Bart Meyers and Dirk Janssens. BPMN2BPEL in MoTMoT. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Workshop on Graph-Based Tools, Zürich (Switzerland), 2009.     [presentation]
[2] (masters thesis) Bart Meyers. Hybrid Rule Scheduling in Story Driven Modeling - a tool-independent approach. Master's Thesis, University of Antwerp, June 2009.     [presentation (Dutch)]
[1] (workshop paper) Bart Meyers and Pieter Van Gorp. Towards a Hybrid Transformation Language: Implicit and Explicit Rule Scheduling in Story Diagrams. In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Fujaba Days, Dresden (Germany), September 18-19, 2008.    [presentation]

Evolution of Modelling Languages

In model-driven engineering, evolution is inevitable over the course of the complete life cycle of complex software-intensive systems and more importantly of entire product families. Not only instance models, but also entire modelling languages themselves are subject to change. This is in particular true for domain-specific languages, for which language constructs are tightly coupled to the domain. When this domain evolves, its language must evolve as well.

Up to this day, modelling languages are evolved manually, resulting in tedious and error-prone migration of artifacts such as instance models. My project proposes a structured appoach that enables the design of (semi-)automatic model evolution, with different evolution scenarios for various kinds of modelling artifacts, such as instance models, meta-models and transformation models.

Read more on evolution of modelling languages here.

Modular Design of Modelling Languages

As a natural consequence of the problems we encountered when trying to automate the evolution of modelling languages, the very definition of modelling languages has to be investigated. We do this in two ways: we break down a language (a) according to the structural information of the modelling language, and (b) according to the content of the modelling language.

In the first phase of the project, we intend to split up a modelling language explicitly according to its structural information. Each structural part of the language will be precisely modelled itself. A language will be split up into two formalisms: a design formalism and a property formalism. A design formalism can be used for modelling a software system. A property formalism can be used for capturing the requirements of the system. Indeed, in order to perform meaningful analysis, simulation, model checking or test generation, we need a precise description of the requirements of the system. Including a property formalism in a modelling language enables modelling requirements in a domain-specific way at the most appropriate level of abstraction, thus gaining from the benefits of domain-specific modelling. The structure of the design formalism and the property formalism is the same; a formalism merely takes on a role in the context of a particular modelling language. A formalism is explicitly modelled itself, with models representing internal structure, visual representation and translational meaning. After investigating the breakdown of a language, a new question arises: how are the structural parts related so that they form the language? There must exist a satisfaction relation between the property formalism and the modelling formalism. After all, when all properties are satisfied, the model of the system fulfils the requirements. More in detail, there is a relation between the internal structure of the modelling formalism and the translational meaning of the property formalism, which can in practice be implemented as model checkers (that can be satisfied or not satisfied) or test cases (that can pass or fail) that can be executed on the modelled system.

In the second phase, we will consider a language as a composition of re-usable language fragments. In our research, we will consider a language fragment to be a modelling language (i.e., formed by structural parts as described above). This design choice will allow any modelling language to be re-used as a language fragment, and vice versa, any language fragment to be composed of other language fragments. Consequently, modelling languages can be classified in a acyclic, directed graph structure where arcs represent an “is composed of”- relation. Because the graph is acyclic, there will be a number of root nodes that represent the base formalisms. When following traditional modelling language classification such as in OMG’s UML, we expect these base formalisms to be languages for expressing structure, behaviour, constraints and interaction. Because of the background of our research group, we will focus on behavioural languages (but without neglecting the other base formalisms). We will investigate how language fragments can be re-used to compose existing domain- specific languages. When re-using a modelling language, it is not always desirable to re-use it as a whole. A research question arises: how can the appropriate model fragment be created from a modelling language? Therefore, we will investigate a structured approach how a modelling language can be reduced and/or modified in order to devise a language fragment. Additionally, the following question has to be answered: how are the selected model fragments combined to form a language? An approach will be investigated to weave the language fragments. In order to maximise re-use, the structural parts of each language fragment will be re- used, and must be woven. According to the principles of modularity, the coupling will be kept as low as possible. It will be investigated what kind of relations and additional information can be introduced when weaving language fragments.

Verification Support for Modelling Languages

Verifying whether a model satisfies a set of requirements is considered to be an important challenge in DSM. It is nevertheless mostly neglected by current DSM approaches. We present a solution in the form of ProMoBox, a framework that integrates the definition and verification of temporal properties in discrete-time behavioural DSMLs, whose semantics can be described as a schedule of graph rewrite rules. Thanks to the expressiveness of graph rewriting, this covers a very large class of problems. With ProMoBox, the domain user models not only the system with a DSML, but also its properties, input model, run-time state and output trace. A DSML is thus comprised of five sublanguages, which share domain-specific syntax. The sublanguages are generated from a single metamodel, that is annotated to denote the role of each language concept. The operational semantics of the DSML is modelled as a transformation and is annotated with information about input and output. The modelled system and its properties are translated to Promela, and properties are verified with Spin, a tool for explicit state model checking. In case a counterexample is found, its execution trace is transformed to the domain- specific level as a trace model, which can be played out. Thus, whilst modelling and verifying properties, the domain user is shielded from underlying notations and techniques. Following MPM principles, we explicitly model the ProMoBox framework’s process in a Formalism Transformation Graph and Process Model. Furthermore, we evaluate ProMoBox to assert that it supports the specification and verification of properties in a highly flexible and automated way, according to MPM principles.

A second thread is testing. Because techniques such as metamodelling and model transformation allow for a efficient creation of DSMLs, and using DSMLs significantly increases productivity, DSM is very suitable for early prototyping. Many systems that are modelled using DSMLs are reactive, meaning that during their execution, they respond to external input. Because of the complexity of input and response behaviour of reactive systems, it is desirable to test models as early as possible. However, while dedicated testing support for specific DSMLs has been provided, no systematic support exists for testing DSML models according to DSM principles. We use ProMoBox to automatically generate a domain-specific testing framework from an annotated DSML definition. In our approach, the DSML definition consists of a metamodel, a concrete syntax definition and operational semantics described as a schedule of graph rewrite rules, thus covering a large class of DSMLs. Currently, DSMLs with deterministic behaviour are supported, but we provide an outlook to other (nondeterministic, real-time or continuous-time) DSMLs. The generative nature of the approach makes testing support for DSMLs less error-prone while catering the need for early testing. Next, we will investigate how testcases can be generated from ProMoBox properties, according to given coverage criteria.


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Maintained by Bart Meyers. Last Modified: 2010/06/12 19:11:22.