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EXE 2015

1st International Workshop on Executable Modeling

September 27, 2015, Ottawa, Canada

co-located with MODELS 2015

About | Program | Proceedings | Call | Important Dates | Committees

Group picture of the participants of EXE 2015

About the Workshop

Executable models are becoming more and more important in developing software systems, as they provide abstractions of a system’s behavior and allow for the performance of early analyses of that behavior. The objective of the First International Workshop on Executable Modeling (EXE 2015) is to draw attention to the potentials and challenges of executable modeling and advance the state-of-the-art in executable modeling. It aims at bringing together researchers working on the development of executable modeling languages and model execution tools, as well as practitioners developing or applying executable modeling languages for building software systems. The workshop intends to provide a forum for exchanging recent results, ideas, opinions, and experiences in executable modeling. Another goal is to determine and assess the state-of-the-art and to coordinate efforts in this area.


EXE 2015 is a one-day workshop divided into three parts: keynote, presentations of the accepted papers, and a discussion session. The workshop will take place at the room Richelieu.

Detailed Schedule

9:00 – 9:15 Workshop Opening (Organizers)

9:15 – 10:15 Keynote (Chair: Ed Seidewitz)

Why and Where Do We Need Model Execution?
Francis Bordeleau
Abstract | Paper | Slides

10:15 – 10:45 Coffee Break

10:45 – 12:00 Paper Session 1 (Chair: Jeff Gray)
Speaker time for each paper is 25 minutes: 15 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion.

Executable Modeling with fUML and Alf in Papyrus: Tooling and Experiments
Sahar Guermazi, Jérémie Tatibouet, Arnaud Cuccuru, Ed Seidewitz, Saadia Dhouib and Sébastien Gérard
Paper | Slides

UML Model Execution via Code Generation
Gergely Dévai, Máté Karácsony, Boldizsár Németh, Róbert Kitlei and Tamás Kozsik
Paper | Slides

UmpleRun: a Dynamic Analysis Tool for Textually Modeled State Machines using Umple
Hamoud Aljamaan, Timothy Lethbridge and Miguel Garzón
Paper | Slides

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch Break

13:00 – 14:15 Paper Session 2 (Chair: Tanja Mayerhofer)
Speaker time for each paper is 25 minutes: 15 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion.

Coping with Semantic Variation Points in Domain-Specific Modeling Languages
Florent Latombe, Xavier Crégut, Julien Deantoni, Marc Pantel and Benoit Combemale
Paper | Slides

On the Execution of Deep Models
Colin Atkinson, Ralph Gerbig and Noah Metzger
Paper | Slides

Testing Extensible Language Debuggers
Domenik Pavletic, Syed Aoun Raza, Kolja Dummann and Kim Haßlbauer
Paper | Slides

14:15 – 15:00 Initiation of Discussion Session
Discussion Topics

15:00 – 15:30 Coffee Break

16:30 – 17:00 Wrap-up and Workshop Closing (Organizers)

Keynote “Why and Where Do We Need Model Execution?” by Francis Bordeleau

Portrait photo of Francis Bordeleau


Model execution has the potential to bring major benefits in many different development contexts and thus strongly contribute to the broader adoption of model based engineering (MBE). Key potential benefits include reduced development time, cost, and risks, and improved overall system quality by enabling execution earlier and more often in the development process.

Traditionally, people think of model execution as a way to execute models at a high level of abstraction to validate/test/verify system models early in the development process before a detailed design is developed for a specific platform. This allows abstracting from specific programming languages and deployment platforms, and focus on the development of platform independent models (PIM’s) that can be later more easily implemented using different programming languages and deployed on specific platforms. While this type of MBE workflow has been a core part of the MBE vision since its inception, very few existing modeling tools today support model execution. There are several reasons for this which relate to both technical and business aspects.

It is important to note that while this traditional MBE workflow is considered as a priority in many different contexts, it is not a priority in all contexts. The price to pay for model execution, in terms of additional workload for the developers, is often considered too expensive for the benefits it provides, and is considered to be an obstacle towards being able to use modeling in a more agile manner. In certain contexts, what users need is a better integration between modeling techniques and programming languages (and associated development tools like compilers and debuggers) to improve the inner design loop and allow for a faster and more agile development process. In other contexts, like system engineering or business process modeling, where the primary goal is not to produce code, the role of model execution in the overall process is quite different. In such cases, the main goal is to use model execution as a way to discover and better understand the overall behavior that emerges from the interactions of the system elements. So, model execution is not a silver bullet that applies equally to all contexts. The needs and requirements are quite diverse depending on the modeling context and application domain.

The goal of this presentation is to provide an industrial perspective on model execution. We will look at different modeling contexts (information modeling, system modeling, network architecture modeling, and software design) and application domains (telecommunication, Software Defined Radios, cyber-physical systems), and discuss their needs (or not) and requirements regarding model execution. We will also discuss what is needed, both from a technical and business perspective, to have first-class support for model execution in modeling tools.

Short Bio

Francis Bordeleau is Product Manager in the Software Development group at Ericsson. His main areas of responsibilities include model-based engineering and modeling tools. In this role, he is responsible for defining product specification and roadmap, developing business cases, managing budget, managing open source initiatives, and collaborating with other companies, researchers, and academia.

Francis has over 20 years of experience in MBE and software engineering; researching, working, consulting, and collaborating with numerous companies worldwide. Prior to joining Ericsson in May 2013, Francis was the Founder and CEO of Zeligsoft, a provider of domain specific Model Based Engineering (MBE) tooling solutions for distributed real-time embedded systems. He was also Director of Tooling Business for PrismTech. Prior to found Zeligsoft, he was an Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science at Carleton University.

Francis holds a B.Sc. in Mathematics from University of Montreal, a Bachelor of Computer Science from University of Quebec (UQO), and a Master in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University.


The proceedings of the workshop are published on CEUR volume 1560.

Call for Papers


The complexity of modern software systems, time-to-market pressures, and the need for high quality software are current challenges faced by the software industry. To address these challenges, model-driven engineering (MDE) advocates the elevation of models into the center of the development process. Models provide abstractions over the system to be developed, while also providing enough detail to automate the development of implementation artifacts and perform early software analysis.

In this context, executable models become more and more important. They provide abstractions of a system’s behavior and constitute the basis for performing early analyses of that behavior. The ability to analyze a system’s behavior early in its development has the potential to turn executable models into important assets of a model-driven software development process. For instance, model animators and model debuggers aid in comprehending and exploring the modeled system’s behavior, as well as in locating defects in models (e.g., locating defects in the system design). Other examples of model execution tools that provide analysis facilities include model checkers, model testing environments, and trace exploration tools.

Scope and Topics

Despite the potential benefits of executable models, there are still many challenges to solve, such as the lack of maturity in the definition of and tooling for executable modeling languages, and the limited experience with executable modeling in much of the software development industry. EXE 2015 will provide a forum for researchers and practitioners to discuss these challenges and propose potential solutions, as well as assessing and advancing the state-of-the-art in this area. Topics of interest for the workshop include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Languages, techniques and methods for developing executable modeling languages, including considerations of quality aspects, reuse, specialization, composing, and evolution of executable modeling languages.
  2. Techniques and methods for developing model execution tools, such as, model debuggers, model animators, and trace exploration tools, including automation techniques for developing model execution tools and techniques for reusing, specializing, extending, and composing executable modeling languages at the tool level.
  3. Experiences in applying executable models and model execution tools for the development and operation of systems, as well as in developing and deploying executable modeling languages and model execution tools.


We will accept three types of submissions:

  1. Research papers (up to 6 pages) presenting novel and innovative approaches in one of the topics of the workshop. We also strongly encourage the submission of comparative studies on existing approaches in one of the topics.
  2. Experience reports (up to 6 pages) presenting experiences and lessons learned in one of the topics of the workshop. Experience reports should discuss knowledge gained from an executable modeling project experience and identify key challenges encountered.
  3. Position papers (up to 2 pages) presenting new ideas or early research results in one of the topics of the workshop.

All submissions should follow the IEEE formatting instructions:

Please submit your paper electronically as PDF via EasyChair at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=exe2015.

All submissions will be evaluated by at least three members of the program committee. Research papers and experience report papers will be evaluated concerning novelty, correctness, significance, readability, and alignment with the workshop call. Position papers will be evaluated primarily concerning validity and ability to generate discussion (even controversy), as well as alignment with the workshop call. Furthermore, all submissions must be original work and must not have been previously published or being under review elsewhere.

For each accepted paper, at least one of the authors must register for the workshop, participate fully in the workshop, and present the paper at the workshop. A pre-workshop version of the accepted papers will be available on the workshop website and a post-workshop version will be published as CEUR workshop proceedings (http://ceur-ws.org).

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: July 17th, 2015
  • Notification of acceptance: August 21st, 2015
  • Workshop: September 27th, 2015



  • Tanja Mayerhofer, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Philip Langer, EclipseSource, Austria
  • Ed Seidewitz, independent, USA
  • Jeff Gray, University of Alabama, USA

Program Committee

  • Jordi Cabot, INRIA and Ecole des Mines de Nantes, France
  • Tony Clark, Middlesex University, United Kingdom
  • Benoit Combemale, IRISA and University of Rennes 1, France
  • Juergen Dingel, Queen’s University, Canada
  • Gregor Engels, University of Paderborn, Germany
  • Sebastien Gerard, CEA List, France
  • Martin Gogolla, University of Bremen, Germany
  • Frederic Jouault, ESEO, France
  • Dimitris Kolovos, University of York, United Kingdom
  • Marjan Mernik, University of Maribor, Slovenia
  • Zoltan Micskei, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary
  • Richard Paige, University of York, United Kingdom
  • Alessandro Romero, Brazilian National Institute for Space Research, Brazil
  • Bernhard Rumpe, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
  • Markus Scheidgen, Humboldt University Berlin, Germany
  • Jeremie Tatibouet, CEA List, France
  • Massimo Tisi, INRIA and Ecole des Mines de Nantes, France
  • Hans Vangheluwe, University of Antwerp, Belgium and McGill University, Canada