Action semantics for defining dynamic semantics of modeling languages

Gijs Stuurman, Ivan Ivanov

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    Most languages in Model Driven Engineering (MDE) are defined by metamodels. Metamodels specify the structural aspects of models but do not capture the computational meaning of the modeling constructs (the dynamic semantics). There are several semantic definition frameworks used for programming languages. In this paper we study the suitability of Action Semantics proposed by P.D. Mosses for defining dynamic semantics for modeling languages. Action Semantics provides an intuitive textual notation and allows modular semantic specifications. However, it is originally proposed for grammar-based languages. The application of Action Semantics to metamodel-based languages requires studying how the action notation can be used with graph structures. We built a compiler that translates models to action trees and a simulator that executes action trees. In this way models become executable and their behavior can be studied at an early modeling phase. We implemented several examples to gain experience of using Action Semantics for modeling languages.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Third Workshop on Behavioural Modelling, BM-FA 2011
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-0617-1
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
    EventThird Workshop on Behavioural Modelling, BM-FA 2011 - Birmingham, UK
    Duration: 6 Jun 20116 Jun 2011

    Publication series



    WorkshopThird Workshop on Behavioural Modelling, BM-FA 2011
    Other6 June 2011


    • IR-82015
    • METIS-289722
    • Action Semantics
    • Semantics of Modeling Languages
    • CR-D.2
    • Dynamic Semantics
    • EWI-22329
    • CR-I.2.5
    • Meta-modeling

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