Execution of UML models: a systematic review of research and practice

Federico Ciccozzi*, Ivano Malavolta, Bran Selic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Several research efforts from different areas have focused on the execution of UML models, resulting in a diverse and complex scientific body of knowledge. With this work, we aim at identifying, classifying, and evaluating existing solutions for the execution of UML models. We conducted a systematic review in which we selected 63 research studies and 19 tools among over 5400 entries by applying a systematic search and selection process. We defined a classification framework for characterizing solutions for UML model execution, and we applied it to the 82 selected entries. Finally, we analyzed and discussed the obtained data. From the analyzed data, we drew the following conclusions: (i) There is a growing scientific interest on UML model execution; (ii) solutions providing translational execution clearly outnumber interpretive solutions; (iii) model-level debugging is supported in very few cases; (iv) only a few research studies provide evidence of industrial use, with very limited empirical evaluations; (v) the most common limitation deals with coverage of the UML language. Based on these observations, we discuss potential research challenges and implications for the future of UML model execution. Our results provide a concise overview of states of the art and practice for UML model execution intended for use by both researchers and practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-48
Number of pages48
JournalSoftware & Systems Modeling
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2018

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Keywords

  • Code generation
  • Model compilation
  • Model execution
  • Model interpretation
  • Systematic review
  • UML

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