“Model Management with Relation Types”

Since some weeks now, I’m finally done with my MSc. Today, I finally uploaded my MSc thesis/research paper, the full text of which you can find here. Here’s the abstract:

Software development in application domains where model-based techniques are employed faces challenges related to managing sets of inter-dependent models of various types. In such settings, capturing the semantic structure of sets of models, as well as being able to check the validity of relationships between models that constitute this structure, can be of significant importance. Additionally, as inconsistencies can arise between models that are not obviously related, the ability to infer implicit relationships between models can help to further enforce the semantic cohesiveness of sets of related models.

To this end, we propose an approach to model management centered around the declaration and definition of relation types. We describe how hierarchies of such relation types can be created to express their purpose, application scenarios and well-formedness rules. Such hierarchies consist of abstract relation types via which the purpose for relating models can be expressed. Concrete relation types for specific application scenarios can then be created by extending the abstract ones. Such concrete relationships are tied to particular metamodels, constrained by well-formedness rules, which can be used to verify the proper application of relation types.

We showcase our approach by applying it to the domain of automotive software engineering, a domain where model-based techniques are becoming increasingly prominent, to demonstrate how typed relationships can be employed in multi-model environments to check for consistency between models and to compose relationships to infer new ones.

Apart from that, I feel I need to reiterate here some of  the things that I put under the “acknowledgments” title in the thesis:

I would like to thank the following people for helping me complete this work:

Professor Marsha Chechik for her guidance and patience.
Robert Baillargeon of Panasonic and Sighe Wang of General Motors for their valuable input.
Rick Salay and Jocelyn Simmonds for helping me shape my ideas about how to structure and define Relations.
Jorge Aranda for providing me with healthy food during the composition of the thesis.
And last but not least, the communities of developers that helped create the fantastic open source tools that I used to carry out and present this work.

To that, I want to add a big thank you to all the fantastic people who I met in this great city and who helped make these past two years of my MSc program so amazing. You’ve all been extremely kind and supportive to me during this important period of my life. I’m forever grateful.

PS. Honestly, if I were to recount how fantastically awesome you people made my stay in Toronto, I wouldn’t know where to start.

PS2. Special mention goes to my proxy family, the Greek crowd. Ευχαριστώ για όλα ρε παιδιά! Είσαστε όλοι/-ες ψυχάρες!

PS3. You people are all so awesome that I’ve decided to stick around for a PhD.  🙂

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