December 3 – 8 , 2017, Dagstuhl Seminar 17492

Multi-Level Modelling


Joao Paulo Almeida (Federal University of Espírito Santo – Vitória, BR)
Colin Atkinson (Universität Mannheim, DE)
Ulrich Frank (Universität Duisburg-Essen, DE)
Thomas Kühne (Victoria University – Wellington, NZ)

For support, please contact

Annette Beyer for administrative matters

Andreas Dolzmann for scientific matters


List of Participants
Shared Documents
Dagstuhl Seminar Schedule [pdf]


Multi-Level Modeling (MLM), i.e., the explicit exploitation of multiple levels of classification when modeling, represents a significant extension to the traditional two-level object-oriented paradigm with the potential to dramatically improve upon the utility, reliability and complexity level of models. It therefore has benefits in many domains of modeling such as software engineering, process modeling and enterprise modeling. Research into multi-level modeling has increased significantly over the last few years, manifesting itself in lively debates in the literature, three international workshops (MULTI 2014–2016), a published journal theme issue (SoSyM), a special issue for the EMISA journal (in preparation), and a growing number of tools and languages. However, while the enthusiasm around MLM provides momentum to this promising research area, the recent speed of growth and the focus on exploring new language features has raised some challenges, including the following:

  • growing diversity of approaches. On the one hand diversity is welcome in order to spawn a competition of ideas but on the other hand it can slow down the approach’s growth and industry adoption unless steps are taken to consolidate ideas and bundle resources.
  • neglect of real world applications. It is natural to initially focus on core principles when developing a new approach, but at some point it becomes important to make the transition into industrial practice in order to validate claims about the utility and need for MLM, and to promote the uptake of MLM in new domains and industries.
  • lack of integration with related disciplines. In particular, ontology engineering has overlapping application areas and could form a powerful synergy with MLM due to its complementary strengths and weaknesses. However, areas such as logic, philosophy, and linguistics are also highly relevant for the further advancement of MLM.

In order to address the aforementioned challenges the seminar will bring together researchers and industry practitioners from the areas of conceptual modeling, ontologies, and formal foundations in order to pursue the following key goals:

  • explore synergies between MLM and ontology engineering.
  • collect evidence about the real-world relevance of existing MLM approaches and analyze their potential deficiencies.
  • identify objective criteria for comparing competing approaches, e.g., by developing respective benchmarks in cooperation with modelers from industry.
  • target enterprise modeling with a view to paving the way for transitioning MLM into industrial practice.
  • develop novel approaches for MLM and strengthen its formal foundations.
  • find more effective ways of disseminating MLM research, e.g., by creating an MLM compendium and/or promoting the use of common resources like the Multi-Level Modeling Wiki, and maintainig a web-based repository for multi-level models

  Creative Commons BY 3.0 DE
  Joao Paulo Almeida, Colin Atkinson, Ulrich Frank, and Thomas Kühne


  • Modelling / Simulation
  • Software Engineering


  • Multi-level modeling
  • Metamodeling

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Books from the participants of the current Seminar 

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