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Formalizing the main characteristics of QVT-based model transformation languages

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-62
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Computing and Security
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020

King's Authors


Model-Driven Development (MDD) aims at developing software more
productively by using models as the main artifacts. Here, the models with high
abstraction levels must be transformed into lower levels and nally executable
models, i.e., source code. As a result, model transformation languages/tools
play a main role on realizing the MDD goal. The Object-Management
Group (OMG) presented the Query/View/Transformation (QVT) as a standard
for the Meta-Object Facility (MOF)-based model transformation languages.
However, implementing a model transformation language, which supports the
full features of the QVT proposal requires a formal model of the underlying
concepts. Having common terminology and a formal, precise, and consistent
specification facilitates developing dependable transformation languages/tools.
This paper aims to provide a formal specification of the main characteristics of
a QVT-Relations (QVTr) model transformation language using the Z notation.
The proposed formal model can be adapted for formalizing other domain and
language concepts too. To show the applicability of the proposed formalism,
a simplified version of the classic object-relational transformation is specified.
Additionally, we show how the semantics clarifies some outstanding semantic
issues in QVTr. The proposed formalism of this paper will pave the way to
building support tools for model transformations in a unified manner in MDD.

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