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Co-Evolving Code with Evolving Metamodels

Djamel Eddine Khelladi 1 Benoit Combemale 1 Mathieu Acher 1 Olivier Barais 1 Jean-Marc Jézéquel 1
1 DiverSe - Diversity-centric Software Engineering
Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique , IRISA-D4 - LANGAGE ET GÉNIE LOGICIEL
Abstract : Metamodels play a significant role to describe and analyze the relations between domain concepts. They are also cornerstone to build a software language (SL) for a domain and its associated tooling. Metamodel definition generally drives code generation of a core API. The latter is further enriched by developers with additional code implementing advanced functionalities, e.g., checkers, recommenders, etc. When a SL is evolved to the next version, the metamodels are evolved as well before to regenerate the core API code. As a result, the developers added code both in the core API and the SL toolings may be impacted and thus may need to be co-evolved accordingly. Many approaches support the co-evolution of various artifacts when metamodels evolve. However, not the co-evolution of code. This paper fills this gap. We propose a semi-automatic co-evolution approach based on change propagation. The premise is that knowledge of the metamodel evolution changes can be propagated by means of resolutions to drive the code co-evolution. Our approach leverages on the abstraction level of metamodels where a given metamodel element has often different usages in the code. It supports alternative co-evaluations to meet different developers needs. Our work is evaluated on three Eclipse SL implementations, namely OCL, Modisco, and Papyrus over several evolved versions of metamodels and code. In response to five different evolved metamodels, we co-evolved 976 impacts over 18 projects.A comparison of our co-evolved code with the versioned ones shows the usefulness of our approach. Our approach was able to reach a weighted average of 87.4% and 88.9% respectively of precision and recall while supporting useful alternative co-evolution that developers have manually performed.
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Contributor : Djamel Eddine Khelladi <>
Submitted on : Saturday, November 28, 2020 - 1:59:09 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 3:11:36 AM


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  • HAL Id : hal-03029429, version 1


Djamel Eddine Khelladi, Benoit Combemale, Mathieu Acher, Olivier Barais, Jean-Marc Jézéquel. Co-Evolving Code with Evolving Metamodels. 42nd International Conference on Software Engineering, May 2020, Séoul, South Korea. ⟨hal-03029429⟩



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