Title: Master Thesis: A mapping study on MDE adoption effects in industry (2 students)
Subject: Software engineering
Level: Advanced
Description: CONTEXT AND AIM:
The complexity of software systems grows continuously due to their pervasive use in almost any aspect of everyday life. To alleviate the intricacy of their development, Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) proposes to shift the focus from coding to design. Models are well-defined abstractions of the reality that allow, indeed, to abstract away those details that do not matter a domain-specific point-of-view. This simplified, yet detailed, representation of a certain sub-problem allows also to perform early analysis of the system and hence to anticipate issues that would be much more expensive to be solved at late stages of the development process.

Due to its promises, MDE attracted remarkable attention from industry, and since its introduction around year 2000 has been adopted in every application domain. In this respect, there exist several documented stories of successful adoption of MDE [2, 3]. However, partly due to the immaturity of the methodology and supporting tools, partly due to the inadequacy of companies’ personnel skills, MDE had controversial effects on development processes and in some cases disappointed most of the expectations.

In the latest years, more and more empirical studies have been documenting the experiences of companies that adopted MDE, and trying to highlight what are the main gains and open issues for the adopters [4]. Nonetheless, it is still very difficult to reply to the following question: “Given my company characteristics, what would be the most prominent effects I would experience if adopting MDE?”. In other words, it is still very difficult to answer with a simple “Yes” or “No” to the question about the opportunity of adopting MDE in a certain company.

This thesis work has the goal to investigate the current literature about the adoption of MDE in industry. The aim is to identify, if possible, a set of characteristics relating expectations and outcomes preceding and following the adoption of MDE, respectively. The study will rigorously follow empirical studies guidelines [1]. In particular the work will:

- collect relevant publications about the adoption of MDE in industry;
- identify trends over time;
- relate expectations and outcomes with respect to the MDE adoption effects.

The work described in this thesis proposal is expected to be developed by two students. The work will be done in collaboration with Bombardier Transportation (BT), which will share the supervision.

1. K. Petersen et al.: Guidelines for conducting systematic mapping studies in software engineering. Inf. Softw. Technol. 64, C (August 2015), 1-18. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.infsof.2015.03.007
2. http://www.nyteknik.se/fordon/nya-gripen-flyger-i-simulator-6576208
3. https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/01-03_orion_cre_exploration_vehicle_model_0.pdf
4. John Hutchinson, Jon Whittle, Mark Rouncefield, and Steinar Kristoffersen. 2011. Empirical assessment of MDE in industry. In Proceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE '11). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 471-480. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/1985793.1985858
Start date:
End date:
Prerequisites: A basic knowledge of Model-Driven Engineering techniques is required, having attended a proper course is a plus.
The work is meant to be carried out by 2 students.
IDT supervisors: Antonio Cicchetti
Examiner: Mikael Sjödin