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Keynote Lectures

The Role of Models at the Heart of the Digital Transformation
Francis Bordeleau, Department of Software Engineering and Information Technology, Ecole de Technologie Superieure (ETS), Canada

The Secret Recipe to the Perfect Low-Code Platform
Jordi Cabot, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Luxembourg

Model Execution: From a Retrospective on Code Generation to a Perspective on Model Compilation
Federico Ciccozzi, Mälardalen University, Sweden

 

The Role of Models at the Heart of the Digital Transformation

Francis Bordeleau
Department of Software Engineering and Information Technology, Ecole de Technologie Superieure (ETS)
Canada
https://etsmtl.ca/en/research/professors/fbordeleau
 

Brief Bio
Professor Francis Bordeleau is at Ecole de technologie superieure (ETS) in Montreal where he leads the Kaloom-TELUS ETS Industrial Research Chair in DevOps. His current research focuses on the systematic improvement of industrial DevOps processes and on the development of a model-based approach for the development of digital twins for different application domains. He has over 25 years of experience researching, working, consulting, and collaborating with companies worldwide in software engineering, software process improvement, and Model-Based Engineering (MBE). Prior to joining ETS, he was Product Manager of Software Development at Ericsson (2013-2017), founder and CEO of Zeligsoft (2003-2013), and assistant professor at Carleton University (1997-2006). Francis has been part of the organizing and program committee of many international conferences and workshops.


Abstract
The digital transformation has a major impact on the systems that we are developing in essentially all application domains, including transportation (e.g. smart mobility, autonomous vehicles), manufacturing (e.g. industry 4.0), construction (e.g. smart building, smart cities), and healthcare (e.g. telemedicine, wearable/implantable devices). A key characteristic of the new generation of systems is that software is now the main product differentiator. To succeed, traditional software approaches are no longer adequate. Organizations now need to address a set of new challenges, both from a technical and a business perspective, and adopt new approaches to increase their agility to adapt to constantly evolving environments to deliver solutions faster, with higher quality, and that are adaptable to user needs.
In this context, DevOps and Digital Twins (DT) have emerged over the last two decades as two key approaches for the development and evolution of digital systems in the industry. On one side, DevOps is the prominent approach to improve software processes in terms of productivity and quality. It advocates for continuous improvement through the use of automation and monitoring at all stages of software development and operations, and aims for shorter development cycles, increased frequency of deployment, and more reliable releases. Its adoption by industry leaders (e.g. Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Netflix) has resulted in spectacular progress. On the other side, DT is considered a main technology to monitor and improve systems in the digital era. A DT is a digital representation of an actual system that can be used to systematically monitor, analyse, and improve the system. Both approaches aim at leveraging data and automation to systematically and continuously improve different aspect of systems and processes. They also both heavily rely on different types of models.
In this talk, I will discuss the central role that models play in DevOps and Digital Twins, and more generally in the digital transformation that is currently occurring in the society. I present some of the research projects that we have been conducting in collaboration with industrial partners over the last five years.



 

 

The Secret Recipe to the Perfect Low-Code Platform

Jordi Cabot
Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)
Luxembourg
https://jordicabot.com/
 

Brief Bio
Jordi Cabot is an FNR Pearl Chair and the head of the Software Engineering RDI Unit at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology. Previously, he has been an ICREA Research Professor at Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, a Visiting Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, an Associate Professor at École des Mines de Nantes (France) on an Inria international chair, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Toronto, a senior lecturer at UOC and a visiting scholar at the Politecnico di Milano. He received the BSc and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the Technical University of Catalonia. Current research topics include software and systems modeling, pragmatic formal verification techniques, analysis of open source and open data communities and the role AI and natural language interfaces can play in software development (and vice versa). He has published over 200 articles in top conferences and journals in these areas. Apart from his scientific publications, he writes and blogs about all these topics in several blogs such as the Modeling Languages portal. Beyond scientific publications, the results of our research are available as open-source tools or as part of transfer contracts.


Abstract
Modeling is more important than ever but it keeps missing the boat. We can discuss all the reasons why this keeps happening but, for sure, a key one is the lack of flexible and agile modeling environments that maximize the ROI (Return On Investment) of companies adopting modelling practices. Low-code tools are a step in the right direction by streamlining model-driven development processes. But they are limited to classical domains and specific types of business applications. We need a better platform that helps us to quickly show how modelling can be useful in a number of new interdisciplinary scenarios. During the talk we will present BESSER (“BEtter Smart Software fastER”), a new low-code platform we are designing based on the lessons learnt after developing many other modelling tools. BESSER is planned as a long-term open-source project. I will try to convey why BESSER has the right ingredients for becoming a perfect low-code platform. I hope to even be able to convince some of you to join the initiative and use BESSER in your next modelling project.



 

 

Model Execution: From a Retrospective on Code Generation to a Perspective on Model Compilation

Federico Ciccozzi
Mälardalen University
Sweden
 

Brief Bio
Federico Ciccozzi is a Docent in Computer Science at Mälardalen University (Västerås, Sweden), head of research education in computer science and in electronics, and leader of the automated software language and software engineering research group. His research focuses on several aspects of model-driven engineering and automated software engineering for the development of complex embedded safety-critical cyber-physical systems based on domain-specific modeling languages (DSMLs).
Among them, he specializes in: definition of DSMLs, automatic model manipulations through transformations, system properties preservation, just to mention a few. Moreover, he conducts research in the area of multi-paradigm modeling, model versioning, (co)evolution, and synchronization, as well as the application of MDE and CBSE techniques to mobile multi-robot systems.
Federico has (co-)authored over 120 publications in international journals, international conferences, and workshop proceedings.


Abstract
In this talk, we will give both a retrospective on the diverse and complex body of knowledge that focuses on the execution of models, especially for UML-based languages, and a perspective on what model execution may look like in the years to come. While the former is based on a thorough systematic investigation of the body of knowledge, the latter is centrered on previous experiences in both academic and industrial contexts. More specifically, focusing on complex cyber-physical systems with safety constraints, and on the fact that code generators are language-specific, inflexible, and not always reliable, difficult and expensive to certify, customise, and maintain, we outline ORPHEUS, a novel approach for model compilation based on state-of-the-art methods and tools. This kind of approach aims at maximising the profit of using model-based techniques, thus producing high-quality and safe software in a more efficient manner, and accelerating research by providing a unified common ground for researchers and practitioners.



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