Category Theory and Model-Driven Engineering: From Formal Semantics to Design Patterns and Beyond

Zinovy Diskin
(McMaster University/The University of Waterloo)
Tom Maibaum
(McMaster University)

There is a hidden intrigue in the title. CT is one of the most abstract mathematical disciplines, sometimes nicknamed "abstract nonsense". MDE is a recent trend in software development, industrially supported by standards, tools, and the status of a new "silver bullet". Surprisingly, categorical patterns turn out to be directly applicable to mathematical modeling of structures appearing in everyday MDE practice. Model merging, transformation, synchronization, and other important model management scenarios can be seen as executions of categorical specifications.

Moreover, the paper aims to elucidate a claim that relationships between CT and MDE are more complex and richer than is normally assumed for "applied mathematics". CT provides a toolbox of design patterns and structural principles of real practical value for MDE. We will present examples of how an elementary categorical arrangement of a model management scenario reveals deficiencies in the architecture of modern tools automating the scenario.

In Ulrike Golas and Thomas Soboll: Proceedings Seventh ACCAT Workshop on Applied and Computational Category Theory (ACCAT 2012), Tallinn, Estonia, 01/04/2012, Electronic Proceedings in Theoretical Computer Science 93, pp. 1–21.
Published: 21st August 2012.

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