Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2009 Research Summary

Analysis and Transformation of Actor Models

View Current Project Information

Thomas Huining Feng and Edward A. Lee

Army Research Office W911NF-07-2-0019, California MICRO, Center for Hybrid and Embedded Software Systems (CHESS), National Science Foundation 0720882, Agilent Technologies, Robert Bosch GmBH, National Instruments, Lockheed-Martin and Toyota

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 becomes 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.

An interesting application of model transformation is construction and configuration of large-scale distributed systems [1]. A systematic approach must be taken to consistently manage the huge amount of interacting components. Our model transformation approach allows designers to visually describe pieces of model structures and to transform them step by step. Model descriptions are themselves hierarchical heterogeneous models, which can be divided into parametrized components for reuse. Therefore, not only the models constructed by the descriptions can easily scale to large sizes, but the descriptions themselves are also scalable.

Other applications of the model transformation technique include model optimization with static property analysis, design refactoring, and design workflow automation.

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

T. H. Feng and E. A. Lee, "Scalable Models Using Model Transformation," International Workshop on Model-based Architecting and Construction of Embedded Systems (ACES-MB), September 29, 2008.