October 5 – 10 , 2014, Dagstuhl Seminar 14412

Globalizing Domain-Specific Languages


Betty H. C. Cheng (Michigan State University – East Lansing, US)
Robert B. France (Colorado State University, US)
Jean-Marc Jzquel (IRISA / CNRS, FR)
Bernhard Rumpe (RWTH Aachen, DE)


Benoit Combemale (CNRS – IRISA – Rennes, FR)

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Dagstuhl Report, Volume 4, Issue 10 Dagstuhl Report
Aims & Scope
List of Participants
Dagstuhl's Impact: Documents available


Model Driven Engineering (MDE) aims to reduce the accidental complexity associated with developing complex software-intensive systems, through the development of technologies that enable developers to systematically create, evolve, analyse, and transform various forms of abstract system models.

Current MDE language workbenches, in both academia and industry, support the development of Domain-Specific Modeling Languages (DSMLs) that can be used to create models that play pivotal roles in different development phases. Language workbenches such as EMF, Metaedit+ or MPS support the specification of the abstract syntax, concrete syntax and the static and dynamic semantics of a DSML. These workbenches aim to address the needs of DSML developers in a variety of application domains.

The development of modern complex software-intensive systems often involves the use of multiple DSMLs that capture different system aspects. In addition, models of the system aspects are seldom manipulated independently of each other. System engineers are thus faced with the difficult task of relating information presented in different models. Current DSML development workbenches provide good support for developing independent DSMLs, but provide little or no support for integrated use of multiple DSMLs. The lack of support for explicitly relating concepts expressed in different DSMLs (incl., syntax and semantics) makes it very difficult for developers to reason about information spread across models describing different system aspects.

Supporting coordinated use of DSMLs leads to what we call the globalization of modeling languages, that is, the use of multiple modeling languages to support coordinated development of diverse aspects of a system.

Discussions during the seminar will focus on how multiple heterogeneous modeling languages (or DSMLs) will need to be related to determine how different aspects of a system influence each other. We have identified three forms of relationships among DSMLs that can be used as a starting point for discussions: interoperability, collaboration, and composition. These forms of language integration will need to address challenging issues that arise from the heterogeneity of modeling languages. Relationships among the languages will need to be explicitly defined in a form that corresponding tools can use to realize the desired interactions. Requirements for tool manipulation is thus another topic that will be discussed in the seminar.

The goal of the seminar was to develop a research program that broadens the current DSML research focus beyond the development of independent DSMLs to one that provides support for globalized DSMLs. In the globalized DSMLs vision, integrated DSMLs provide the means for teams working on systems that span many specialized domains and concerns to determine how their work on a particular aspect influences work on other aspects.

Working Groups

In the seminar we started the following four working groups which are producing results during the workshop and compiling them into a State-Of-The-Art report afterwards:

Group 1a Motivating Use Cases for the Globalization of DSLs Definition of the main scenarios motivating the globalization of DSLs

Group 1b Conceptual Model of the Globalization of Domain-Specific Languages Definition of the common vocabulary and foundations of the globalization of DSLs

Group 2 Globalized Domain Specific Language Engineering Challenges of the globalization of DSLs from the language designer point of view

Group 3 Domain Globalization: Using Languages to Support Technical and Social Coordination Challenges of the globalization of DSLs from the language user point of view

Summary text license
  Creative Commons BY 3.0 Unported license
  Betty H. C. Cheng and Benoit Combemale and Robert B. France and Jean-Marc Jzquel and Bernhard Rumpe


  • Modelling / Simulation
  • Software Engineering


  • Modelling
  • Domain Specific Language
  • Software


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