Multi-level modeling: cornerstones of a rationale

Type of Publication: Article in Journal

Multi-level modeling: cornerstones of a rationale

Frank, Ulrich
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Software & Systems Modeling
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This expert voice paper presents a comprehensive rationale ofmulti-levelmodeling. It aims not only at a systematic assessment of its prospects, but also at encouraging applications of multi-level modeling in business information systems and at providing a motivation for future research. The assessment is developed from a comparison of multi-levelmodelingwith object-oriented, general-purpose modeling languages (GPMLs) and domain-specific modeling languages (DSMLs). To foster a differentiated evaluation, we propose a multi-perspective framework that accounts, among others, for essential design conflicts, different types of users, as well as economic aspects. Besides the assessment of the additional abstraction offered by multi-level modeling, the evaluation also identifies specific drawbacks and remaining challenges. Based on the results of the comparative assessment, in order to foster the adoption and further development of multi-level modeling, we discuss the prospects of supplementing multi-level modeling languages with multi-level programming languages and suggest possible dissemination strategies customized for different groups of users. The paper concludes with an outline of future research.