W. Kessentini, H. Sahraoui, M. Wimmer: Automated Co-Evolution of Metamodels and Transformation Rules: A Search-Based Approach, 10th Symposium on Search-Based Software Engineering (SSBSE 2018), Montpellier, France; 08.-09.09.2018, in Proceedings of the 10th Symposium on Search-Based Software Engineering, SSBSE 2018, pages 1 - 10. program SSBSE18


Metamodels frequently change over time by adding new concepts or changing existing ones to keep track with the evolving problem domain they aim to capture. This evolution process impacts several depending artifacts such as model instances, constraints, as well as transformation rules. As a consequence, these artifacts have to be co-evolved to ensure their conformance with new metamodel versions. While several studies addressed the problem of metamodel/- model co-evolution3, the co-evolution of metamodels and transformation rules has been less studied. Currently, programmers have to manually change model transformations to make them consistent with the new metamodel versions which require the detection of which transformations to modify and how to properly change them. In this paper, we propose a novel search-based approach to recommend transformation rule changes to make transformations coherent with the new metamodel versions by finding a trade-off between maximizing the coverage of metamodel changes and minimizing the number of static errors in the transformation and the number of applied changes to the transformation. We implemented our approach for the ATLAS Transformation Language (ATL) and validated the proposed approach on four co-evolution case studies.We demonstrate the outperformance of our approach by comparing the quality of the automatically generated co-evolution solutions by NSGA-II with manually revised transformations, one mono-objective algorithm, and random search.

Automated Co-Evolution of Metamodels and Transformation Rules: A Search-Based Approach