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Keynote Lectures

Multi-Paradigm Modelling of Cyber-Physical Systems
Hans Vangheluwe, Computer Science, University of Antwerp, Belgium

The Very Model of a Modern Meta-modeler
Edwin Seidewitz, Model Driven Solutions, United States

The Forgotten Interfaces: A Critique of Component-based Models of Computing
Bran Selić, Malina Software Corp., Canada


Multi-Paradigm Modelling of Cyber-Physical Systems

Hans Vangheluwe
Computer Science, University of Antwerp

Brief Bio
Hans Vangheluwe is a Professor in the Antwerp Systems and Software Modelling (AnSyMo) group within the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Antwerp in Belgium, where he is a founding member of the NEXOR Consortium on Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). AnSyMo is a Core Research Lab of Flanders Make, the strategic research centre for the Flemish manufacturing industry. He heads the Modelling, Simulation and Design Lab (MSDL), distributed over the University of Antwerp and McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His fundamental work covers the foundations of modelling and simulation, of model management, model transformation, and domain-specific (visual) modelling environments. This work is always accompanied by prototype tools such as PythonPDEVS, the Modelverse, T-Core, AToM3 and AToMPM.

The networking of multi-physics (mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, biochemical, ...) with computational systems (control systems, signal processing, logical inferencing, planning, ...) processes, interacting with often uncertain environments, with human actors, in a socio-economic context, leads to so-called Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS).
The CPS that are engineered today are reaching a hitherto unseen level of complexity.

To date, no unifying theory nor systematic design methods, techniques and tools exist for such systems.
Individual (mechanical, electrical, network or software) engineering disciplines only offer partial solutions.

Multi-paradigm Modelling (MPM) proposes to model every part and aspect of such complex systems explicitly, at the most appropriate level(s) of abstraction, using the most appropriate modelling formalism(s).
This includes the explicit modelling of the often complex engineering workflows.

Modular modelling language engineering, including model transformation, and the study of modelling language semantics, are used to realize MPM. MPM is seen as an effective answer to the challenges of designing CPS.

This presentation introduces a vision of complex CPS, in particular in the context of Industry 4.0.
The causes of complexity of such systems and some of the challenges of their collaborative development are introduced, as well as possible multi-paradigm modelling solutions such as (in-)consistency management and co-simulation.



The Very Model of a Modern Meta-modeler

Edwin Seidewitz
Model Driven Solutions
United States

Brief Bio
Ed Seidewitz is Chief Technology Officer at Model Driven Solutions, Inc., a long-time provider of enterprise and systems architecture services using model-based methods. Mr. Seidewitz has extensive background in state of the art information system technologies and leading expertise in the Unified Modeling Language (UML). He is also experienced in agile system architecture and development in both the commercial and government sectors. His skills include business process analysis, system architecture and full implementation of enterprise-class information systems, deployed in the data center or in the cloud. He has 30 years of professional experience with the modeling, architecture and development of systems spanning diverse domains including aerospace, finance, acquisition and health care.

Philosophers have been talking about metaphysics since Aristotle. Logicians have used metalanguages for 80 years. And, in the last 50 years, computer scientists have produced metaobjects, metaclasses and metamodels. “Going meta” is now even part of the popular culture. What is this all about?

It is about the incredibly powerful human ability to reflect on what we are doing. Bringing this capability to our modeling languages, we can create languages able to express their own definitions. But, with real semantic formalization, we also open up the possibility of creating tools that can reflect on the very models they are being used to create. What might this mean for the next generation of modeling languages and tools?

In this talk we will go meta, reflect on reflection and try to figure it out.



The Forgotten Interfaces: A Critique of Component-based Models of Computing

Bran Selić
Malina Software Corp.

Brief Bio
Bran Selic is President of Malina Software Corp., a Canadian company that provides consulting services to corporate clients and government institutions worldwide. He is also Director of Advanced Technology at Zeligsoft Limited in Canada, and a Visiting Scientist at Simula Research Laboratories in Norway. In 2007, Bran retired from IBM Canada, where he was an IBM Distinguished Engineer responsible for setting the strategic direction for software development tools. Currently, he is also an adjunct professor at Monash University and the University of Sydney in Australia. With over 40 years of practical experience in designing and implementing large-scale industrial software systems, Bran has pioneered the application of model-based engineering methods and has led the definition of several international standards in that domain, including the widely used Unified Modeling Language (UML). In 2016, he was presented with a lifetime Career Award by the steering committee of the IEEE/ACM MoDELS conference in recognition of his contributions to model-driven technologies and practice.

Although the notions of software components and component-based systems has been discussed since the earliest days of software engineering, it was the broader adoption of the object paradigm in the late 80’s and early 90’s that provided the critical impetus for research into this domain. Specifically, object-oriented programming provided an alternative to the traditional algorithm-driven model of software by representing a software program primarily as a network of collaborating specialized modules (i.e., objects). In this paradigm, it was natural to characterize components as “black boxes” characterized by their input-output behaviours – a model that is strongly reminiscent of similar models in other forms of engineering (e.g., control, electrical, mechanical). This in turn has led to a number of new theoretical models of computing that exploit the relative simplicity of this representation.

However, most of component-based theories overlook one fundamental difference between software and traditional engineering media: that all software requires an “engine” for it to work. This engine is ultimately rooted in hardware, but, there can be numerous layers between the hardware and the components, each one presenting a realizing its own engine to the software it supports. As explained in this talk, the influence of these oft-neglected platform layers can have a fundamental impact on the design and operation of a component-based software system. A closer examination of the interrelationship between a component and its underlying platforms (NB: in practice there is never just one platform!) reveals what may be a surprising level of complexity. In this talk, we outline how component-based models of computing must be refined to account for these effects to ensure that software component systems fulfill their functional and engineering requirements. This, in turn, leads to further refinements including, notably, the crucial notions of software layering and platform independence.