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SyncMeta: Near Real-time Collaborative Conceptual Modeling on the Web

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Framework for near real-time (meta) modeling on the Web. Permits the collaborative editing of meta models and the generation of near real-time collaborative modeling editors. It uses a visual modeling approach.
http://dbis.rwth-aachen.de/cms/research/ACIS/SyncMeta

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SyncMeta: Near Real-time Collaborative Conceptual Modeling on the Web

  1. 1. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 1 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Near Real-Time Collaborative Conceptual Modeling on the Web Michael Derntl, Petru Nicolaescu, Stephan Erdtmann Ralf Klamma, Matthias Jarke RWTH Aachen University Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 – Information Systems lastname@dbis.rwth-aachen.de ER 2015 | 21 Oct 2015 This work has been funded with support from the European Commission. This presentation reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
  2. 2. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 2 Motivation  Conceptual modeling – Key activity in many areas – Social, creative process [FK98] – collaborative work [RKV08]  Typical collaboration: asynchronous  Availability of near real-time (NRT) collaborative modeling tools – On desktop and on the Web – From highly domain-specific tools like Kanban Tool1… – … to very generic ones like draw.io2 1 http://kanbantool.com 2 http://www.draw.io
  3. 3. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 3 Near Real-Time Collaborative Editing  Synchronous editing independent of the location of the users – Propagation of user actions to collaborators – Responsiveness similar to single-user applications – Consistency maintenance  Inconsistencies caused by divergence or causality- violation [SE98]  Two approaches for consistency preservation – Conflict prevention [XZS00] – Conflict resolution [SE98]  Architectures – Centralized architecture (client/server) – Decentralized architecture (peer-to-peer)
  4. 4. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 4 Objectives Functional • Framework for NRT collaborative modelling (domain-independent) • Meta model based • Visual modeling • Awareness • Structure editing support Non-Functional • Open source code • Building on open protocols • Runs in Web browsers Research the shift towards Web-based collaborative modeling
  5. 5. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 5 Related Tools & Frameworks Platform Domain- Indepen- dent Meta- Modeling NRT Collab oration Awareness Web- based Open Source MetaEdit+ [TPK07] Smalltalk ✓ ✓ (✓) ADOxx [FK13] Gecko/C++ ✓ ✓ DiaMeta [Mi07] Java / EMF ✓ ✓ ✓ Gallardo et al. [GBR12] Java / EMF ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ Tiger [Eh05] Java / EMF ✓ ✓ AToM3 [LVA04] Python ✓ ✓ ✓ GenGED [BEW04] Java ✓ ✓ TWICE [SLHi14] Java/JS/ GWT ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ SyncMeta JS/ ROLE SDK ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓
  6. 6. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 6 Meta-Modeling Hierarchy
  7. 7. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 7  Real-time collaboration on both modeling layers Meta-Modeling Framework: Modeling Process & User Roles
  8. 8. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 8 Example Languages  Petri Net  i*  IMS LD  …
  9. 9. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 9
  10. 10. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 10 Metamodel (partial)
  11. 11. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 11  Model Editor is special instance of Meta-Model Editor  Uses special Export Widget for Model Editor Generation GUI Architecture
  12. 12. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 12 Technical Realization  Communication protocol: XMPP – Suitable protocol for NRT communication – Multiple extensions available (publish subscribe, multi-user chat) – Client and server support  Open source ROLE SDK based on Apache Shindig – User management – Personal and collaborative widget space management – XMPP based multi-user chat  Inter-widget communication (IWC) [GVD+11] – Local IWC based on HTML5 Web Messaging API – Remote IWC based on XMPP Publish Subscribe XEP – Strophe.js (XMPP over BOSH and WebSockets)  Conflict Resolution – Opencoweb OT Javascript framework
  13. 13. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 13 Model Editor - Functionality  Near real-time synchronization  Awareness - Activity Pane - Highlighting of nodes  User interaction to add nodes / edges - Palette - Context menu  Export of Model as JSON, PNG File - Custom export widgets
  14. 14. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 14 End-User Evaluation  Goal - Evaluation of usability and usefulness of Model Editor - Obtain feedback for improvement  Methodology - Editor instance for i* modeling language [Yu95] - Evaluation session in groups of two - Participants could see and talk to each other, but were not able to see each other‘s screen (Skype-like setting) - Task: Jointly recreate a given i* model using the editor - Rating using surveys with seven-point Likert scale items
  15. 15. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 15 End-User Evaluation (cont.)  Participants - Ten group sessions with 20 participants in total - Diverse expertise of conceptual modeling and the i* modeling language (novices as well as experts) - Regular to frequent usage of graphical editors
  16. 16. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 16 Evaluation: Quantitative Results  Overall – Very positive overall rating (M = 5.7; SD = 1.2) – User interface and usability also good (M = 5.9 and 5.7, respectively) – Ratings independent of user experience (r = .32; p = .17)  User interaction – For adding nodes resp. edges participants prefer the context menu (M = 5.9 and 5.7, resp.) over palette (M = 5.3 each)  Awareness – Node highlighting (M = 5.7; SD = 1.2) slightly higher than activity pane (M = 5.5; SD = 1.4)
  17. 17. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 17 Evaluation: Suggested Improvements  Increase overview for large models  Highlighting of remote changes  Keyboard shortcuts  Multiselection of nodes  Automatic node arrangement  Drag & drop from palette
  18. 18. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 18 Conclusion and Future Work  Key points - Browser-based Meta-Modeling Framework - Generation of RTC Editors for Visual Modeling Languages  Different types of user interaction  Awareness - Pilot case: i* editor; generally positive evaluation  Future work - Views for NRT modeling - Recommendations during modeling - Improvement of collaboration using the Yjs OSS library
  19. 19. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 19 THANK YOU FOR LISTENING nicolaescu@dbis.rwth-aachen.de Nicolaescu Petru SyncMeta Project Description GitHub: https://github.com/rwth-acis/syncmeta
  20. 20. Lehrstuhl Informatik 5 (Information Systems) Prof. Dr. M. Jarke 20 References [BEW04] Bardohl, R.; Ermel, C.; Weinhold, I: GenGED–a visual definition tool for visual modeling environments. In Pfaltz, J. L.; Nagl, M.; Böhlen, B. (Hrsg.): Applications of Graph Transformations with Industrial Relevance. Springer, Berlin, 2004; p. 413–419. [Eh05] Ehrig, K. et al.: Generation of visual editors as eclipse plug-ins. In: Proc. 20th IEEE/ACM Int. Conf. on Automated Software Engineering. ACM, New York, 2005; p. 134–143. [FK98] Floyd, C.; Klischewski, R.: Modellierung - ein Handgriff zur Wirklichkeit. Zur sozialen Konstruktion und Wirksamkeit von Informatik- Modellen. In: Pohl, K.; Schürr, A.; Vossen, G. (Hrsg.): Modellierung '98. CEUR-WS.org, 1998. [FK13] Fill, H.-G.; Karagiannis, D.: On the conceptualisation of modelling methods using the ADOxx meta modelling platform. In: Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures, 8(1), 2013. [GBR12] Gallardo, J.; Bravo, C.; Redondo, M. A.: A model-driven development method for collaborative modeling tools. Journal of Network and Computer Applications, 35(3), 2012; p. 1086–1105. [GVD+11] Govaerts, S.; Verbert, K.; Dahrendorf, D.; Ullrich, C.; Schmidt, M.; Werkle, M.; Chatterjee, A.; Nussbaumer, A.; Renzel, D.; Scheffel, M.; Friedrich, M.; Santos, J. L.; Duval, E.; Law, E.: Towards Responsive Open Learning Environments: The ROLE Interoperability Framework. In: Proc. EC-TEL 2011. Springer, Berlin, 2011; S. 125-138. [LVA04] de Lara, J.; Vangheluwe, H.; Alfonseca, M.: Meta-modelling and graph grammars for multi-paradigm modelling in AToM³. Software and Systems Modeling, 3(3), 2004; p. 194–209. [Mi07] Minas, M.: Generating meta-model-based freehand editors. Electronic Communi-cations of the EASST, 1, 2007. [SLHi14] Schmid, O., Lisowska Masson, A., Hirsbrunner, B.: Real-time collaboration through web applications: an introduction to the Toolkit for Web-based Interactive Collaborative Environments (TWICE). Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 18(5) (2014) 1201{1211[Ol07] Olivé, A.: Conceptual modeling of information systems. Springer, 2007. [RKV08] Renger, M.; Kolfschoten, G. L.; de Vreede, G.-J.: Challenges in Collaborative Modeling: A Literature Review. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, Volume 10, 2008; p. 61-77. [SE98] Sun, C.; Ellis, C.: Operational transformation in real-time group editors: issues, algorithms, and achievements. In: Proc. 1998 ACM Conf. on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. ACM, New York, 1998; p. 59–68. [TPK07] Tolvanen, J.-P.; Pohjonen, R.; Kelly, S.: Advanced tooling for domain-specific modeling: Metaedit+. In: Sprinkle, J.; Gray, J.; Rossi, M.; Tolvanen, J.-P. (Hrsg.): 7th OOPSLA Workshop on Domain-Specific Modeling, Finland, 2007. [XZS00] Xue, L.; Zhang, K.; Sun, C.: Conflict control locking in distributed cooperative graphics editors. In: Proc. 1st Int. Conf. on Web Information Systems Engineering. IEEE, Los Alamitos, 2000; p. 401–408.

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