Software & Systems Modeling

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 2361–2397 | Cite as

Survey and classification of model transformation tools

  • Nafiseh KahaniEmail author
  • Mojtaba Bagherzadeh
  • James R. Cordy
  • Juergen Dingel
  • Daniel Varró
Regular Paper


Model transformation lies at the very core of model-driven engineering, and a large number of model transformation languages and tools have been proposed over the last few years. These tools can be used to develop, transform, merge, exchange, compare, and verify models and metamodels. In this paper, we present a comprehensive catalog of existing metamodel-based transformation tools and compare them using a qualitative framework. We begin by organizing the 60 tools we identified into a general classification based on the transformation approach used. We then compare these tools using a number of particular facets, where each facet belongs to one of six different categories and may contain several attributes. The results of the study are discussed in detail and made publicly available in a companion website with a capability to search for tools using the specified facets as search criteria. Our study provides a thorough picture of the state-of-the-art in model transformation techniques and tools. Our results are potentially beneficial to many stakeholders in the modeling community, including practitioners, researchers, and transformation tool developers.


Model-driven development Model transformation tools Metamodel Classification Survey 



The assistance of the following people is gratefully acknowledged: Kevin Lano, Jim Steel, Antonio Cicchetti, Jesús Manuel Almendros Jiménez, Cedric Dumoulin, Alcino Cunha, Nuno Macedo, Li Dan, Sreedhar S. Reddy, Bernhard Schätz, Rusi Popov, Sven Efftinge, Peter Friese, Janne Luoma, Juha-Pekka Tolvanen, Christopher Gerking, Didier Vojtisek, Desfray Philippe, Timothy Lethbridge, Thomas Degueule, Donatas Mazeika, Paul Boocock, Jens von Pilgrim, Hui Song, Joël Cheuoua, Gary Reeves, Arend Rensink, Ed Willink, Hans Vangheluwe, Simon Van Mierlo, Claudia Ermel, Peter Braun, Soichiro Hidaka, Zhenjiang Hu, Andy Schürr, Gergely Varro, Joel Greenyer, Wimmer Manuel, Gehan M.K. Selim, Pieter Van Gorp, Jesús Sánchez Cuadrado, Dimitris Kolovos, Mezei Gergely, William Piers, Albert Zündorf, Edgar Jakumeit, Christian Krause, Jean-Michel Bruel, the Blu Age customer service, Audris Kalnins, Dermot O’Bryan, Thomas Capelle, Cédric Brun, and Reto Carrara. This work is supported in part by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nafiseh Kahani
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mojtaba Bagherzadeh
    • 1
  • James R. Cordy
    • 1
  • Juergen Dingel
    • 1
  • Daniel Varró
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.School of ComputingQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada
  2. 2.School of Electrical and Computer EngineeringMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  3. 3.MTA-BME Lendület Research Group on Cyber-Physical SystemsBudapestHungary

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