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Guest editors’ introduction to the special issue on Model Driven Engineering and Reverse Engineering: Research and Practice


The systematic use of models in software engineering represents the foundation of Model Driven Engineering (or MDE). High-level domain-specific models are defined and further exploited for the implementation, testing, integration, and maintenance of software. One of the key ideas in MDE is that transformation of models from a high abstraction level to a lower level can be described and automated by using transformation languages. Source code can be then generated by limiting the amount of hand written code, implying less effort and possibly less errors. Moreover, during its life cycle, existing software needs maintenance, modification and evolution independently of its size and application domain. Most of the times, the related documentation (e.g., concerning its architecture, features, knowledge) quickly becomes obsolete. Hence, most companies are facing the problem of performing reverse engineering tasks to comprehend the software to be changed. In this context, models can play a key role for improving software understanding processes, by providing different views on existing software at a higher abstraction level than source code. Hence, Model Driven Reverse Engineering (or MDRE) approaches start from the source code, at a low abstraction level, and produce different kinds of models of the software at higher abstraction levels. These models represent various perspectives on the same software. Depending on the cases, model discovery from source code and further model transformations can be more or less automated. As a result, the obtained models can be analyzed by domain experts and tools, or used as inputs to model-based processes (e.g., for forward engineering activities). This special issue contains papers reporting on various research efforts, experiences or practices in the area of Model Driven Engineering (MDE) and Model Driven Reverse Engineering (MDRE). These papers are the result of a rigorous peer-reviewing and selection process that started in March 2018 (the submission deadline was actually extended up to April 16, 2018 due to several requests). At this date, we got 13 full paper submissions in total. Among them, and after one-to-three rounds of reviews by at least 2 reviewers for each paper, 6 full papers were finally selected for publication in the present special issue. The papers contained in this volume cover a variety of MDE/MDRE-related topics going from extensions of the Knowledge Discovery Metamodel for aspect-orientation, metamodels for software protection and reverse engineering, structured assurance metamodels to model-driven IT governance process for long term objectives, retrieving behavioral model from black-box system, to approaches for reverse engineering of legacy systems and code migration.
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hal-02339020 , version 1 (09-01-2020)



Francesca Arcelli Fontana, Hugo Bruneliere, Hausi A. Müller, Claudia Raibulet. Guest editors’ introduction to the special issue on Model Driven Engineering and Reverse Engineering: Research and Practice. Journal of Systems and Software, 2020, 159, pp.110446. ⟨10.1016/j.jss.2019.110446⟩. ⟨hal-02339020⟩
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