An Y MDE Approach for Enactable Software Process Models
Samba Diaw, Mamadou Lakhassane Cisse and Alassane Bah
Polytechnic Institute (ESP) @ Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD), UMMISCO Laboratory, Dakar, Senegal
Keywords: Model-driven Engineering (MDE), Model Transformations, MDE Software Process, Tailoring,
Abstract: The advent of MDE enabled to automate software development while reducing its production time. While
software companies need continually to improve and customize their software processes, an automated
approach to do so is still lacking. Most of those companies have an organizational process that is used
whenever they have an upcoming development project. Reusing the same process for any development
project is somehow inadequate. So, tailoring of such a process is necessary to fit organisational and
operational companies’ needs. However, even if that tailored process can be used for a specific project, it
still lacks resources needed for execution. In this short paper, we propose a Y model-based approach that
allows tailoring software processes and generating enactable software process models by using models
transformations. We defined metamodels to express models involved in those transformations. We illustrate
our approach with an extract of the UWE Process which we adapt and instantiate for a development project
with .Net.
Nowadays, software applications become more and
more important in our daily life. However, their
implementation becomes more and more complex
depending on their nature. To develop software with
a high quality we should have a good process.
Therefore, it is important for companies to have their
own generic process that can be adapted (i.e. tailor)
to any project/organization context. For a better
management of a software development project, it is
important to capture all changes that happen during
the elaboration of the software meaning the
description of the actual (i.e. real) process.
According to Curtis and al., a software process
model (process model, for short), is defined as “an
abstract description of an actual or proposed
software process which represents selected process
elements that are considered important to the
purpose of the model and can be enacted by a human
or machine” (Curtis and al., 1992). A process model
is an abstract representation and does not capture
concrete information on how the model-products are
really managed during process execution. While
software companies need continually to improve and
customize their software processes, an automated
approach to do so is still lacking. Most of those
companies have an organizational process that is
used whenever they have an upcoming development
project. So, tailoring of process models to exactly fit
organisational and operational companies needs
constitute a crucial task for the success of software
development project. Tailoring could be a very
difficult task, which typically has to take into
consideration several human and organisational
issues. In this respect, managing such a complexity
with model-transformations is a challenging and
ambitious issue.
To address this issue, we propose in this article, a
Y model-based approach to tailor MDE processes
and then generate enactable software process
models. To validate our approach, we use an extract
of the UWE process and apply it to a development
project in .Net.
The remainder of the article is structured as
follows: the section 2 presents the Y model-based
approach while the section 3 presents the prototype.
Section 4 deals with the validation of our Y
approach with an illustrated example. The section 5
deals with related works. In the last section, we
conclude this article and introduce some
Diaw, S., Cisse, M. and Bah, A.
An Y MDE Approach for Enactable Software Process Models Generation.
DOI: 10.5220/0006649505110518
In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Model-Driven Engineering and Software Development (MODELSWARD 2018), pages 511-518
ISBN: 978-989-758-283-7
Copyright © 2018 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
Our contribution will consist in designing and
implementing a Y model-based approach (Figure 1)
to produce an enactable software process model
from a generic process model.
The first step (tailoring) of this approach is to
produce a tailored process model from a generic
process model so-called PIPM (Project Independent
Process Model). For the first step, the main idea is to
consider tailoring as models’ transformation that
takes two input models:
a generic software process model independent
from any project (PIPM) conforms to
a model representing the context of a
project/organization conforms to SPCM
(Software Process Context Metamodel).
The second step is the instantiation of the
tailored process model according to a
project/organization context. As a result, an
enactable process model so-called PSPM (Project
Specific Process Model) will be produced and will
include the actors/tools and tasks to be executed.
The Y model-based approach involves four
SPEM4MDE (Diaw and al., 2011): a
metamodel taking into account the concepts of
software development process definition,
SPCM (Hurtado and al., 2011): a metamodel
that defines the context model of a
PRM (Project Resources Metamodel) (Figure
2): a new metamodel that represents the
resources of a given project
EPM (Enactable Process Metamodel) (Figure
3): a new metamodel that defines managed
elements at enactment time
Figure 2 describes the Project Resources
metamodel. The resources used in a software
development project are dependent to the project
variabilities. The formalization of those elements
enables the automatic instantiation of the tailored
process. We have defined a new metamodel called
PRM (Project Resources Metamodel) to define used
resources in the execution of a development project.
This metamodel describes every resource element
within a software development project.
Figure 1: The Y model-based approach.
The major concepts of PRM are
ResourceElement and ResourceType. A resource
element defines every resource used within a
software development project (actors, tools, etc.). It
has a name, a description and a kind (primary or
secondary). The resource type defines the type of
resource, which can be human, software, hardware
or any kind of resource type defined by the project
manager. Resource types might not have the same
properties. For solving that issue, we defined the
ResourceProperty concept in order to define new
properties for a resource type. Resource elements
can be organized in groups. Only human resource
elements are linked with their role. Examples of
resource elements can be Bob (name), which is a
human resource type. For the human resource type,
we can also define different others properties such as
address, phone number, family name. Note that the
list is not exhaustive and give the responsibility to
the project manager to define new suitable
Figure 3 presents the Enactable Process
Metamodel (EPM). The instantiation process will
produce a model ready to be enacted. The
importance of this model is to give to the project
manager all information about tasks and their
performers. The model contains the different
resources chosen by the project team for taking part
in the execution. The resources are not only human-
like but any kind of resource that will participate in
MODELSWARD 2018 - 6th International Conference on Model-Driven Engineering and Software Development
the production of the real artifacts. Having a
metamodel representing these concepts is a major
key of our approach and enables us to capture the
real process (i.e. process in life). For that purpose,
we have defined the EPM metamodel. The main
concepts of EPM are TaskInstance”,
MDEActivityInstance and
TransformationInstance. They help defining the
activities and tasks that are to be executed.
Transformation instance is also a task instance. The
task instance takes as parameters one or more model
instances (i.e. concrete model-products). Every
activity or task is considered as an enactment
element meaning that they are the elements that are
going to be executed. We also reused the
ResourceElement concept from the Project
Resources Metamodel to represent the specific
resources (human, hardware, software) for executing
a task or transformation.
Figure 2: Project Resources Metamodel PRM.
Figure 3: Enactable Process Metamodel.
An Y MDE Approach for Enactable Software Process Models Generation
To validate our approach, we have developed a
prototype. As shown by figure 4, the prototype is
divided into two components: SPEM4MDE Process
Editor, and SPEM4MDE Process Enactment Engine.
Figure 4: Architecture of SPEM4MDE-PSEE.
SPEM4MDE Process Editor allows process
designers to describe, modify and tailor process
models. Once the process model is described, the
process designer may check it with respect to the
constraints defined in the SPEM4MDE metamodel,
or regarding to additional constraints. There are two
ways for checking MDE process models: checking
on demand (i.e. when the user triggers himself the
checking process) or checking during edition (i.e.
checking is done automatically by the tool).
Outcomes of process editing are stored in a
repository called MDE Process Repository. For
instantiating a MDE process model in a given
project, a project manager may also use this editing
SPEM4MDE Process Enactment Engine allows
the project manager to instantiate a tailored process
model and the developers to enact a project-specific
process model by giving them their tasks and the
current state of any process element. It is integrated
with other eclipse-based tools (ATL, Smart QVT,
Code Management Tool, etc.) in order to execute the
activities of the instantiated process model.
Developers can then keep track of what is the
current state of each element of the MDE project,
what has been done before and what is left.
Outcomes (models, code, documentation, etc.) are
stored in a MDE Project Repository
To illustrate our Y model-based approach, we have
chosen as an example the UWE (UML-based Web
Engineering) process (Koch and al., 2006) (Kroiß
and al., 2008). UWE is a process that covers web
systems development cycle from requirements to
code generation. Figure 5 represents an extract of the
UWE process described with SPEM4MDE.
4.1 Project Independent Process Model
(UWE Process)
After the description of the requirements model a
first transformation (Req. 2 content) produces the
content model. The UML standard may be used to
describe the content model. The content model is
used for the following activity (Content 2
Navigation) to produce the navigation model. From
one content model, different navigation views can be
obtained, e.g. for different stakeholders of the web
system like anonymous user, registered user and
The requirements model contains information
that is useful for the enrichment of the navigation
model. For this purpose, the transformation (Req. 2
Navigation) is used.
The navigation model generated on the content
model contains itself valuable information that
allows for reasoning and improving the navigation
model. For the transformation (Navigation
Refinement) the following constrains are defined:
1. An index is added for all associations of the
navigation model that have multiplicity
greater than one at the directed association
2. All navigation classes that have at least one
outgoing association require a menu class
with menu items defined on basis of the
association ends of the associations.
Presentation elements are generated based on
navigation elements of the navigation model and
merged then with style guide information.
For example, for each link in the navigation
model an adequate anchor is required in the
presentation model.
Functional models (content, navigation and
presentation) are afterwards integrated mainly for
the purpose of verification into a big picture model.
Finally, the platform-specific code (Java, .Net) is
generated from big picture model.
MODELSWARD 2018 - 6th International Conference on Model-Driven Engineering and Software Development
Figure 5: Generic UWE Process model.
4.2 Context Model
To tailor the UWE process, we must have a context
model representing process variations. This context
model will define the specific characteristics we
have chosen to deal with the process. In this way, we
can configure new process models through model
transformations. The characteristics of the specific
project are provided by the project manager. This
will result in the generation of a new adapted
process model.
The context variables considered in this tailoring
process are the project type and the development
platform. SPCM allows us to create more variables
but we rather stick to these two variables since they
describe enough our context model.
Table 1: Context elements and values.
Context Attribute
Project type
Development Project
Development Platform
Table I gives the values for our two context
attributes. The tailoring process that is done based
on them will give a new process adapted to the
context of the project. We are going to use ATL
(Jouault and al., 2006) to define the tailoring
transformation rules.
4.3 Tailored Uwe Process Model
The execution of the tailoring transformation (T1)
allows us to configure a new process. That process
will be adapted to the project context and is obtained
through automatic generation.
Figure 6 represents the resulting process after the
tailoring activity. Only the required activities roles
and artifacts are present. The resulting process does
not include any additional activity. The Req. 2
navigation transformation is removed, as it is not
mandatory when the navigation model produced by
the “Content 2 Navigation” presentation is well
defined. The “Java Code Generation” activity is also
removed, as it is not mandatory for a .Net
development project.
4.4 Project Resources Model
In our project resources model, we will give the
effective resources in charge of tasks execution. In
the UWE process, human actors do some activities
whereas transformations are executed by MDE tools.
The involved roles in the UWE process are:
Web Developer
Java Developer
.Net Developer
To instantiate our tailored process model, we are
going to choose real actors for those roles. For the
role web developer, we can have a human resource
with first name, last name, and address properties.
Bob and Alice will then play the web developer role
while Trevor will play the .Net developer.
4.5 The Resulting Enactable Process
Model (Enactable UWE Process)
Once we have the tailored process, we can go
through an instantiation activity with the real actors.
The instantiation strategy enables us to have a final
process model so-called enactable process model.
This process model contains tasks to be executed
and also the real actors to execute them (Bob, Alice,
Trevor). It still conforms to the EPM metamodel.
Figure 7 shows the last step of our approach that
produces the enactable process model.
An Y MDE Approach for Enactable Software Process Models Generation
Figure 6: Tailored UWE process model.
Process tailoring is the mechanism of adapting a
software process to project needs (Silvestre and al.,
In (Pedreira and al., 2017) different tailoring
methods have been showed. In some cases, it is done
on the organizational level and in others on the
project level. Tailoring on the organizational level
allows adapting a standard process to the needs of a
specific organization. The resulting process is
adapted to the needs of each individual company.
Considering that projects in a single company
can also differ, we need to tailor process at the
project level, which means that the resulted process
of the organizational level is adapted to the needs of
a specific project.
Some work done around tailoring is (Hanssen
and al., 2005), which presented a simple pragmatic
method for adapting RUP to a specific project
type in a company. They report that in their
experience, process tailoring in small companies is
best done as a simple and pragmatic process, and not
as one, which is over-extravagant and strict. In
Figure 7: Enactable UWE Process Model.
(Cao and al., 2004), a set of agile practices tailored
for large-scale complex projects has been proposed.
In (González and al., 2014), an example of a
template-based tailoring is presented. For each
possible project situation, a well-defined process is
established answering a scenario. For every scenario
that might occur, one of the defined processes is
chosen and executed for software development. This
method is also used in (Cockburn and al., 2004) by
taking into account project criticity and team size to
choose the right process. This type of approach is
highly depending on a complete knowledge of
projects type and size that the company will have to
deal with.
Using criteria to be applied in the tailoring
process is an important task. However, those criteria
must be carefully chosen to see which ones
influence more the tailoring process (Kalus and al.,
2013) and even the links between those criteria.
Furthermore, each criterion has its impact on a
specific kind of project and none on another one. In
(Xu and al., 2008), a set of measures is provided to
take into account different project situations. For
MODELSWARD 2018 - 6th International Conference on Model-Driven Engineering and Software Development
each criterion, they ask two questions: What does it
means (rationale) ? and what might happen when not
considering this particular criterion (implication)?
Another attempt in (Martínez-Ruiz and al., 2012)
focuses on the requirements for tailoring software
processes. Unlike the former paper, they did not
show up concrete criteria but focus more on the
elements being used for tailoring and the causes of
variations during process tailoring.
One of the common criteria find in the literatures
is the team or company size. The project type also is
one the most shared criterion for process tailoring.
Among the factors that influence the software
process we have the project, the organization, the
product and the stakeholders of the project
(Martínez-Ruiz and al., 2012). Figure 8 shows four
major steps in software process tailoring.
Figure 8: Software process tailoring steps(Martínez-Ruiz
and al., 2012).
The criteria can also be split in four groups
(Preez and al., 2009):
the ones with regard to the organization,
the ones with regard to the project,
factors related to the product,
factors related to human agents.
In (Hurtado and al., 2014), a model-based
approach to software process tailoring has been
proposed (figure 9). Even if the proposal approach
has been applied for a medium-size Chilean
company, the concepts employed will not entirely
change when applied to a larger company. This
approach is made possible using organizational
process model conforms to SPEM and a project
context model. The transformation rules written in
ATL will accordingly to the metamodels, produce an
adapted process model still conforms to SPEM.
Figure 9: An MDE approach to tailoring (Hurtado and al.,
In the literature, few approaches are natively
supporting automatic process tailoring. Using MDE
principles to tailor process model in a context of an
organization or project and then generating an
enactable process model is an ambitious issue.
To address this issue, we have presented a Y
model-based approach that allows tailoring software
processes and generating enactable software process
models. Our approach involves two main activities
tailoring and instantiation. The prototype we deve-
loped allows using an automated support to assist
process designer in those two complex activities.
We validate our approach with an extract of the
UWE process, which we adapt within a context of a
.Net development project.
The tailored process is instantiated with project
resources in order to produce an enactable process
Two important perspectives of this work are
under consideration. Firstly, we plan to develop a
process engine to assist stakeholders in the execution
of their tasks. Secondly, we envisage defining a full
collaborative process execution metamodel for the
enactment purpose.
Cao L., Mohan K., Xu P., and Ramesh B., 2004. “How
extreme does extreme programming have to be?
An Y MDE Approach for Enactable Software Process Models Generation
Adapting XP practices to large-scale projects,” in
System Sciences, 2004. Proceedings of the 37th
Annual Hawaii International Conference on. IEEE,
pp. 10pp.
Cockburn A., 2004. Crystal clear: a human-powered
methodology for small teams. Pearson Education.
Curtis B., Marc Kellner I, and, Over J., 1992. Process
modeling D. L. Levin & F. C. Morriss, eds.
Communications of the ACM, 35(9), pp.75-90.
Diaw S., Lbath R., and Coulette B., 2011. “Specification
and Implementation of SPEM4mde, a metamodel for
MDE software processes.” in SEKE, Miami - USA, pp.
Du Preez N., Lutters D., and Nieberding H., 2009.
“Tailoring the development process according to the
context of the project,” CIRP Journal of
Manufacturing Science and Technology, vol. 1, no. 3,
pp. 191198.
Fall I., Diaw S?, 2016. A Metamodel for MDE Process
Model-Products Relationships. IEEE 25th
International Conference on Enabling Technologies:
Infrastructure for Collaborative Enterprises
(WETICE) Pages: 166 171.
González Pérez C and Henderson-Sellers B., 2008.
Metamodeling for software engineering. Chichester:
González F., Silvestre L., Solari M., and Bastarrica M. C.,
2014. “Template Based vs. Automatic Process
Tailoring,” in XXXIII International Conference of the
Chilean Society of Computer Science (SCCC 2014).
Hanssen G. K., Westerheim H., and Bjørnson F. O., 2005.
“Tailoring RUP to a defined project type: A case
study,” in International Conference on Product
Focused Software Process Improvement. Springer,
pp. 314327.
Hurtado Alegra J. A., Bastarrica M. C., Quispe A., and
Ochoa S. F., 2014. “MDE-based process tailoring
strategy,” Journal of Software: Evolution and Process,
vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 386403, Apr.
Hurtado Alegra J. A., Bastarrica M. C., Quispe A., and
Ochoa S. F., 2011. “An MDE approach to software
process tailoring,” in Proceedings of the 2011
International Conference on Software and Systems
Process. ACM, pp.43-pp52.(Online).Available:http://
Jouault F., Allilaire F., Bézivin J., Kurtev I., and Valduriez
P., 2006. “ATL: a QVT-like transformation language,”
in Companion to the 21st ACM SIGPLAN symposium
on Object-oriented programming systems, languages,
and applications, pp. 719720.
Kalus G. and Kuhrmann M., 2013. “Criteria for software
process tailoring: a systematic review,” in Proceedings
of the 2013 International Conference on Software and
System Process. ACM, pp. 171180.
Koch N., 2006. “Transformations techniques in the model-
driven development process of UWE”. In: 6th
International Conference on Web Engineering
(ICWE), Volume 155 Article N° 3. ACM, California.
Kroiß C., and Koch N., 2008. “UWE metamodel and pro-
file: user guide and reference”. LMU, Technical Report.
Martínez-Ruiz T., Munch J., García F., and Piattini M.,
2012. “Requirements and constructors for tailoring
software processes: a systematic literature review,”
Software Quality Journal, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 229260.
Pedreira O., Piattini M., Luaces M. L., and Brisaboa M.
R., 2007.“A Systematic Review of Software Process
Tailoring,” vol. Volume 32 Issue 3. New York, NY,
USA: ACM SIGSOFT Software Engineering Notes,
pp. 16.
Silvestre L., Bastarrica M. C., and Ochoa S. F., 2014. “A
model-based tool for generating software process
model tailoring transformations,” in ModelDriven
Engineering and Software Development
(MODELSWARD), 2014 2nd International Conference
on. IEEE, pp. 533540.
Xu P. and Ramesh, B., 2008. “Using process tailoring to
manage software development challenges,” IT
Professional, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 3945.
MODELSWARD 2018 - 6th International Conference on Model-Driven Engineering and Software Development