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    A formal approach to finding inconsistencies in a metamodel

    Wu, Hao and Farrell, Marie (2021) A formal approach to finding inconsistencies in a metamodel. Software and Systems Modeling, 20 (4). pp. 1271-1298. ISSN 1619-1366

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    Checking the consistency of a metamodel involves finding a valid metamodel instance that provably meets the set of constraints that are defined over the metamodel. These constraints are often specified in Object Constraint Language. Often, a metamodel is inconsistent due to conflicts among the constraints. Existing approaches and tools are typically incapable of pinpointing the conflicting constraints, and this makes it difficult for users to debug and fix their metamodels. In this paper, we present a formal approach for locating conflicting constraints in inconsistent metamodels. Our approach has four distinct features: (1) users can rank individual metamodel features using their own domain-specific knowledge, (2) we transform these ranked features to a weighted maximum satisfiability modulo theories problem and solve it to compute the set of maximum achievable features, (3) we pinpoint the conflicting constraints by solving the set cover problem using a novel algorithm, and (4) we have implemented our approach into a fully automated tool called MaxUSE. Our evaluation results, using our assembled set of benchmarks, demonstrate the scalability of our work and that it is capable of efficiently finding conflicting constraints.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Wu, H. & Farrell, M. 2021, "A formal approach to finding inconsistencies in a metamodel", Software and systems modeling, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 1271-1298.
    Keywords: Metamodel; Conflicts; SMT;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
    Item ID: 17466
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Hao Wu
    Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2023 14:17
    Journal or Publication Title: Software and Systems Modeling
    Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
    Refereed: No
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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