Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2008 Research Summary

Analysis and Transformation of Actor Models

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Thomas Huining Feng and Edward A. Lee

The goal of this project is to provide a framework for the analysis and transformation of actor models using graph transformation techniques.

The design of large-scale models poses a number of challenges. As the size of the models increases to thousands of actors or hundreds of thousands of actors, analysis and consistent modification on the models become extremely hard. Furthermore, to maximize component reuse, a systematic approach is needed for the specification and maintenance of common patterns in the models and the transformation of those patterns.

The model transformation framework to be developed in this project aims to support the flexible specification of patterns and replacements by means of rules in graph grammar. An intuitive graphical user interface will be built. For novice users, a set of common transformations will be included in a library to facilitate their common tasks.

The transformations are models in their own right. They can be embedded in larger models hierarchically. Heterogeneous models of computation can be used to control the application of individual "atomic" transformations. This makes it easy to create sophisticated transformations by composing simple ones in a manageable and disciplined way. The sophisticated transformations will also take advantage of the concurrency inherent in those models of computation.

Model transformation can be applied as an optimization of modal models. These are hierarchical state machines with refinements in their states, which are sub-models to be executed when those states are active. The current implementation includes the complete description of each refinement in the model description, even though refinements of the states in a state machine tend to have large commonality. With the transformation technique, only one refinement needs to be stored completely. The others are obtained by transformations performed on the stored refinement. This eliminates redundancy and eases the job of modifying multiple refinements consistently.

Other applications of the model transformation technique include recognizing common design patterns in the models in a static analysis, replacing exiting design patterns with more efficient ones, and reusing design patterns by incorporating them into new models.

Figure 1
Figure 1: A pattern specified in the Ptolemy II user interface

Figure 2
Figure 2: Matching this pattern to a Ptolemy II model