MULTI 2017

4th International Workshop on Multi-Level Modelling

MULTI 2017. September 19th, 2017, Austin, Texas

Welcome to MULTI 2017,

the premier event for researchers and practitioners who work on multilevel modeling and multilevel software development.

Multilevel language architectures represent a new object-oriented paradigm both for conceptual modeling and software engineering. Different from traditional approaches, they allow for an arbitrary number of classification levels and introduce other concepts that foster reuse and adaptability. While multilevel languages and tools have reached a considerable maturity, the field still offers numerous challenges. The MULTI workshop series is dedicated to bring together experts who develop and apply multilevel language technologies as well as those who focus on specific analysis and design methods or on economic aspects of this new paradigm.


Multilevel modelling is an emerging new modelling paradigm that offers exciting new perspectives not only for conceptual modelling, but also for the development of software systems that are integrated with models of themselves. Multilevel DSMLs allow for combining the benefits of economies of scale with the productivity enabled by concepts that were designed for very specific domains. Multilevel modelling has now been used successfully in a wide range of projects.

The MULTI workshop series is the premier event for researchers and practitioners who work in the field of multilevel languages and tools or are interested in applying multilevel technologies. It is aimed at providing a platform for exchanging ideas and promoting the further development of multilevel languages, methods and tools. In particular, the goal is to encourage the community to delineate different approaches to multilevel modelling and define objective ways to evaluate their respective strengths/weaknesses. To address this objective, MULTI 2017 features a specific multilevel modelling challenge.


Call for Papers

A growing community of researchers is excited about the prospects offered by multilevel modelling. However, there is still no clear consensus on what this new paradigm actually entails and how it should be applied. For example, there are different views on whether it is sound to combine instance facets and type facets into so-called clabjects, whether strict metamodeling is too restrictive, and what tool architectures provide the best framework for modelling with multiple classification levels. This lack of a foundational consensus is mirrored by the lack of a common focus in current multilevel tools.

The goal of MULTI 2017 is to address these challenges and continue the community building established in the previous workshops. In particular, the goal is to encourage the community to delineate different approaches to multi-level modelling and define objective ways to evaluate their respective strengths/weaknesses. One key way of addressing this goal is to identify standard/canonical examples specially designed to exercise the abilities of multilevel modelling approaches. We encourage submissions on new concepts, implementation approaches and formalisms as well as submissions on controversial positions, requirements for evaluation criteria or case-study scenarios. Contributions in the area of tool building, multilevel modelling applications, canonical examples and educational material are equally welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not restricted to:

  • the exact nature and semantics of elements in a multilevel hierarchy and how best to represent them
  • the importance and role of potency and its variants such a durability and mutability
  • transitioning from traditional modelling approaches/tools to multi-level approaches
  • engineering domain-specific languages and complete tool support
  • methods for designing multilevel models
  • formal approaches to multilevel modelling
  • experiences and challenges in providing tool support for multilevel modelling
  • experiences and challenges in applying multilevel modelling techniques to large and/or real world problems
  • model management languages (transformation, code generation etc.) in a multi-level setting
  • comparisons of multilevel and two-level solutions for modelling problems
  • criteria for comparing multilevel modelling approaches and evaluating their usability
  • canonical multi-level modelling examples and challenges
  • distinct and multiple viewpoints on multilevel models
  • methods for developing multilevel systems and languages
  • the management of changes in multilevel models
  • innovative systems architectures enabled by multilevel languages
  • multilevel modelling versus knowledge engineering and ontologies

Two kinds of papers are solicited: regular papers (max. 14 pages), and position papers (max. 7 pages), adhering to Springer LNCS style. Papers should be submitted via Easychair. Accepted papers will be published as CEUR workshop proceedings and indexed in DBLP. Authors submit their papers as PDF files to

The workshop provides a platform for tool demonstrations, too. Please contact Tony Clark to determine the scope and structure of a demo.

To promote the exchange between different schools of multilevel modelling and to contribute to a consolidation of the field, this year’s MULTI will for the first time introduce a specific modelling challenge. The participants are asked to develop a multilevel model, or multilevel DSMLs respectively, to represent a domain that is provided in a natural language description. The solutions should account for certain requirements and are expected to be submitted in a given structure.

The Bicycle Challenge

The MULTI Bicycle Challenge is intended as a basis for demonstrating the benefits of multi-level modelling. Our aim is to allow researchers to present a number of solutions to the challenge at the MULTI workshop at MODELS 2017 in Austin. However, due the timing of the challenge announcement we realise that it has been challenging for teams to submit solutions. Therefore, we propose that the challenge is initiated at MULTI 2017 as a community initiative where workshop participants review, discuss and revise the challenge during the workshop. We would like to use the challenge as a joint effort to  compare and consolidate existing approaches, to identify topics for future research and to demonstrate the benefits of multi-level modelling.

Assuming that we can jointly approve a revised version of the challenge at the MULTI workshop we plan to invite contributions to be made available to the modelling community via the MULTI web site. The MULTI organisers also plan to invite selected contributions to the challenge as articles for a special issue of a journal that is intended to showcase the benefits of multi-level modelling using the challenge as a common basis.

To prepare for the discussion, participants are asked to study the current version of the challenge (see below) and to think about further requirements. For example:

  • Multi-level modelling used as a basis for configuration, for example: Every bicycle type except for racing bikes may be equipped with an electric motor. Electric bikes need enforced brakes and a battery.
  • Multi-level modelling as a basis for advanced business analytics, for example: Find every bicycle type that has an electric motor and that has the least number of sales in 2017.
  • Representing business processes in multi-level models, for example: Order management, such as Customer, Order, etc.
  • Addressing behaviour abstraction within multi-level models, for example: Most dealerships favour their own type of order management process. A multi-level model of an order management process should support the reuse of common aspects of order management and extend/refine them to satisfy particular requirements.
  • Adding constraints to multi-level models.The additional abstraction enabled by multi-level models can substantially increase the adaptability of systems. At the same time, it creates additional dependencies, which create a threat to maintainability. The model should be supplemented with constraints that protect integrity as much as possible in case of changes.
  • Software or tool generation from multi-level models, for example: generating a bicycle product management system from a multi-level model that uses models@run-time to support the addition of new types of bicycle.

Furthermore, the challenge could be extended with requirements that relate to accompanying model editors and runtime environments.

The following description represents the original challenge.


A configuration is a physical artefact that is composed of components. A component may be composed of other components or of basic parts. There is a difference between the type of a component and its instances. A component has a weight. A bicycle is built of components like frame, a handle bar, two wheels … A bicycle component is a component. A frame, a fork, a wheel, etc. are bicycle components. Frames and forks exist in various colors. Every frame has a unique serial number. Front wheel and rear wheel must have the same size. Each bicycle has a purchase price and a sales price. There are different types of bicycles for different purposes such as race, mountains, city .. A mountain bike or a city bike may have a suspension. A mountain bike make have a rear suspension. That is not the case for city bikes. A racing fork does not have a suspension. It does not have a mud mount either. A racing bike is not suited for tough terrains. A racing bike is suited for races. It can be used in cities, too. Racing frames are specified by top tube, down tube, and seat tube length. A racing bike can be certified by the UCI. A racing frame is made of steel, aluminum, or carbon. A pro race bike is certified by the UCI. A pro race frame is made of aluminum or carbon. A pro racing bike has a minimum weight of 5200 gr. A carbon frame type allows for carbon or aluminum wheel types only. „Challenger A2-XL“ is a pro racer for tall cyclists. The regular sales price is 4999.00. Some exemplars are sold for a lower price. It is equipped with a Rocket-A1-XL pro race frame. The Rocket-A1-XL has a weight of 920.0 gr. A sales manager may be interested in the average sales price of all examplars of a certain model. He may also be interested in the average sales price of all mountain bikes, all racing bikes etc.


The above description of the bicycle domain is to be represented with a multilevel model. Lack of information or ambiguities in the description should be identified and removed by making explicit assumptions. The model should account for the following requirements. It is not mandatory that a solution satisfies all requirements. Further requirements may be added.

Req. 1: Knowledge about the domain, which may include particular aspects, should be represented at the highest level possible.

Req. 2: It should be possible to use the model (or parts of it) as a foundation for a software system that is suited for a wide range of general bicycle stores. At the same time, it should allow for this software to be refined into more specific systems like one for a specialized dealer of professional racing bikes.

Req. 3: It should be possible to define associations between elements on different levels. Alternatively, it can be shown that cross-levels associations are not required.

Req. 4: As a consequence of req. 3, it should be possible to specify cross-level constraints.

Req. 5: There should be mechanisms that protect the integrity of lower levels of the model from changes that occur on higher levels.

Req. 6: There should be mechanisms to preserve the model semantics and foster the synchronization of MLM-based models with code.

The proposed solution should be presented in a paper that reflects the structure below. Papers are submitted like regular papers. Each paper should have the subtitle “A contribution to the MULTI 2017 challenge”.

Each submission will be reviewed against the following criteria:

  • Address the case study domain as given in the description above.
  • Demonstrate the use of multi-level features.
  • At least 3 of the requirements listed above.
  • List the benefits and challenges of multi-level features in the context of the case study.

Papers that clearly address the issues listed above will be accepted for presentation at the workshop and for inclusion in the proceedings. Additional tool demonstrations that are suited to show the strength of the proposed solution are appreciated.

  1. Introduction (Presentation of the approach that is used)
  2. Case Analysis (Analysis, interpretation, completion of case description, additional requirements)
  3. Model Design (step by step development of model, including comprehensive justifications for non-trivial design decisions)
  4. Evaluation (comparison against requirements and related work)
  5. Conclusions
Download the Case as PDF file


Tony Clark

Sheffield Hallam University, UK

Ulrich Frank

University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Manuel Wimmer

Vienna University of Technology, Austria

Program Comitee
  • Joao-Paulo Almeida (Federal University of Espírito Santo, Brazil)
  • Dirk Draheim (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia)
  • Ralph Gerbig (University of Mannheim, Germany)
  • Georg Grossmann (University of South Australia, Australia)
  • Alexander Egyed (Johannes Kepler University, Austria)
  • Ulrich Frank (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
  • Martin Gogolla (University of Bremen, Germany)
  • Cesar Gonzalez Perez (Spanish National Research Council, Spain)
  • Esther Guerra (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)
  • Hans-Georg Fill (University of Vienna, Austria)

  • Yngve Lamo (Bergen University College, Norway)
  • Stefan Jablonski (Bayreuth University, Germany)
  • Manfred Jeusfeld (University of Skövde, Sweden)
  • Monika Kaczmarek-Heß (University of Duisburg-Essen)
  • Wolfgang Pree (University of Salzburg, Austria)
  • Alessandro Rossini (SINTEF, Norway)
  • Michael Schrefl (Johannes Kepler University, Austria)
  • Manuel Wimmer (Vienna University of Technology, Austria)
  • Jorn Bettin (S23M, Australia)
  • Bernd Neumayr (Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria)
  • Markus Stumptner (University of South Australia, Australia)
Steering Comitee
  • Colin Atkinson (University of Mannheim, Germany)
  • Thomas Kühne (Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand)
  • Juan de Lara (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain)


July 17th, 2017

extended Paper Submission Deadline

August 5th, 2017

Authors Notification

September 17th, 2017

Papers online

(particular date to be announced)

September, 19th



9:00 am
9:15 am
Chris Partridge, Sergio De Cesare, Andrew Mitchell, Frederik Gailly and Mesbah Khan
10:15 am
10:45 am
Bernd Neumayr, Christoph G. Schuetz, Christian Horner and Michael Schrefl
11:15 am
Gergely Mezei, Zoltán Theisz and Dániel Urbán
12:15 pm
1:00 pm
Khanh-Hoang Doan and Martin Gogolla
3:00 pm
Colin Atkinson, Thomas Kuehne
3:30 pm
4:20 pm
Discussion: Revision of the Challenge
5:00 pm
Terminological Foundation: Toward a unified terminology?
6:00 pm



Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol
701 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas 78701