Automated Synthesis of Model Comparison Benchmarks
Abstract: Model-driven engineering promotes the migration from code-centric to model-based software development. Systems consist of model collections integrating different concerns and perspectives, while semi-automated model transformations generate executable code combining the information from these. Increasing the abstraction level to models required appropriate management technologies supporting the various software development activities. Among these, model comparison represents one of the most challenging tasks and plays an essential role in various modelling activities. Its hardness led researchers to propose a multitude of approaches adopting different approximation strategies and exploiting specific knowledge of the involved models. However, almost no support is provided for their evaluation against specific scenarios and modelling practices. This thesis presents Benji, a framework for the automated generation of model comparison benchmarks. Given a set of differences and an initial model, users generate models resulting from the application of the first on the latter. Differences consist of preconditions, actions and postconditions expressed using a dedicated specification language. The generator converts benchmark specifications to design-space exploration problems and produces the final solutions along with a model-based description of their differences with respect to the initial model. A set of representative use cases is used to evaluate the framework against its design principles, which resemble the essential properties expected from model comparison benchmark generators.
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