Systematic literature review of domain-oriented specification techniques

Robert Deckers*, Patricia Lago

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Context: The popularity of domain-specific languages and model driven development has made the tacit use of domain knowledge in system development more tangible. Our vision is a development process where a (software) system specification is based on multiple domain models, and where the specification method is built from cognitive concepts, presumably derived from natural language. Goal: To realize this vision, we evaluate and reflect upon the existing literature in domain-oriented specification techniques. Method: We designed and conducted a systematic literature review on domain-oriented specification techniques. Results: We identified 53 primary studies, populated the classification framework for each study, and summarized our findings per classification aspect. We found many approaches for creating domain models or domain-specific languages. Observations include: (i) most methods are defined incompletely; (ii) none offers methodical support for the use of domain models or domain-specific languages to create other specifications; (iii) there are specification techniques to integrate models in general, but no study offers methodical support for multiple domain models. Conclusion: The results indicate which topics need further research and which can instead be reused to realize our vision on system development. Editor's note: Open Science material was validated by the Journal of Systems and Software Open Science Board.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111415
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Early online date25 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to the colleagues and peers that reviewed the various versions of this paper and provided feedback on the work (in alphabetical order): Bonne van Dijk, Wan Fokkink, Marc Hamilton, Arjan van Krimpen, Ivano Malavolta, Daan Pasmans, Jan Schoonderbeek, and Eric Suijs. This research received funding from the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) through the ITEA3 BUMBLE project ( 18006 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


  • Domain model
  • Domain-specific language
  • Method comparison
  • Modeling language
  • Specification method
  • Systematic literature review

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