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From:
Filipe Correia <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Filipe Correia <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Fri, 16 Aug 2013 10:49:13 +0100
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FlexiTools 2013: 5th Int. Workshop on Flexible Modeling Tools
http://softeng.fe.up.pt/flexitools/2013/
Monday, October 28, 2013. Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Co-located with SPLASH 2013

**DEADLINE EXTENSION** - 1st September
Please submit preliminary drafts before the deadline in order to
assist the planning of the review process. You will be able to update
your submission until the deadline.


~~ Background ~~

Producing and manipulating representations of information is pervasive
throughout software development activities. These range from domain
analysis (such as business analysis) during the early stages of
requirements engineering, through architectural and lower-level
design, to coding, testing and beyond. These information
representations can be seen as models, and hence these are modeling
activities, though not typically called that in all cases.

Modeling tools have a variety of advantages, such as syntax and
semantics checking, providing multiple views of models for
visualization and convenience of manipulation, providing
domain-specific assistance (e.g., "content assist") based on model
structure, providing documentation of the modeling decisions, ensuring
consistency of the models, and facilitating integration with other
formal tools and processes, such as model driven engineering (MDE) and
model checking.

Despite their advantages, however, formal modeling tools are usually
not used for many of these software development activities. During the
exploratory phases of design, it is more common to use whiteboards,
pen and paper, or other informal mechanisms. Free-form diagrams drawn
with such approaches serve as the centerpiece of discussion and can
easily evolve as discussion proceeds. During the early stages of
requirements engineering, when stakeholders are being interviewed and
domain understanding is being built, it is more common to use office
tools (word processors, spreadsheets and drawing/presentation tools).
Free-form textual documents, tables and diagrams serve as working
documents and can easily be fashioned into presentations to
stakeholders that are such an important part of this activity. The
documents are easy to share with stakeholders. Users are also not
forced to commit too early to specific choices, and thus have freedom
during highly iterative, exploratory activities. Other examples exist
as well.

Formal modeling tools thus have strengths and weaknesses complimentary
to more informal but flexible, free-form tools, and vice versa.
Practitioners throughout the software lifecycle choose between them
for each particular task, but whichever they choose, they lose the
advantages of the other, with attendant frustration, loss of
productivity and sometimes loss of traceability and reduced quality.

What can be done about this unfortunate dichotomy? Tools that blend
the advantages of modeling tools and the more free-form approaches
offer the prospect of allowing users to make tradeoffs between
flexibility and precision/formality, to combine them, or/and to move
smoothly between them. We call these Flexible Modeling Tools. They
might be modeling tools with added flexibility, or free-form
approaches with added modeling support, or tools of a new kind. They
might leverage new approaches such as cloud-based or highly
collaborative tools. They may embody new and more flexible approaches
to the capture and analysis of models e.g. for extraction of models
from natural language, flexible design of a Domain Specific Language,
detection of and/or tolerating inconsistency, augmenting and linking
models to other models or loosely formalized contents. They may
provide flexible visualization approaches as well as or instead of
editing.

~~ Workshop Goals ~~

The primary focus of the discussion will be to systematically identify
challenges for flexible modeling and promising solutions for
addressing these challenges. This will allow us to define the research
area more clearly, and will help participants identify the
similarities and differences between their work, fueling the
discussion. To this end, the workshop will bring together people who
understand tool users' needs, tool usability, cognitive issues, user
interface design, tool design, and tool infrastructure. Work drawing
from other fields with similar flexible modeling challenges e.g. other
engineering disciplines, architecture, and industrial design, are very
welcome.

~~ Workshop Format ~~

The workshop will consist of a few brief presentations or
demonstrations, based on a subset of the accepted position papers,
followed by a session of group work and discussion. The primary focus
of the discussion will be to elicit challenge problems and to outline
existing promising approaches for addressing them. To fuel the
discussion, all participants will be asked to come prepared with
problems/challenges they believe to be important, and to characterize
the kind of flexibility of the approaches or tools described by their
submission.

~~ Submission ~~

Prospective participants are invited to submit 2-5 page position
papers within the topic of Flexible Modeling. Papers posing challenge
problems and papers describing solution approaches or tools in terms
of the challenges they address are particularly welcome.

Papers must conform to the ACM SIGPLAN Proceedings Format and must be
submitted by the deadline noted below. They will be judged based on
novelty, insightfulness, quality, relevance to the workshop, and
potential to spark discussion. Accepted papers will be made available
in the workshop website and their final version will be published in
the ACM Digital Library.

All submissions must be done through the Easy Chair system, available at
http://www.easychair.org/conferences/?conf=flexitools2013
We encourage submissions to be supplemented with a screencast of the
tool being used, if applicable. Please append the URL(s) to any
screencast(s) that you would like to include to the text of your
abstract submitted through easychair.

~~ Important Dates ~~

Submissions open:  July 12, 2013
Submission deadline:  September 1, 2013 **UPDATED**
Notifications:  September 16, 2013 **UPDATED**
Workshop:  October 28, 2013

~~ Organizers ~~

* Filipe Correia, University of Porto, Portugal
* Ademar Aguiar, University of Porto, Portugal
* Louis Rose, University of York, United Kingdom
* André van der Hoek, University of California, Irvine, USA
* Alexander Egyed, Johannes Kepler University, Austria
* Dustin Wüest, University of Zurich, Switzerland
* Martin Glinz, University of Zurich, Switzerland

~~ Program Committee ~~

* Albert Zündorf, University of Kassel, Germany
* António Rito Silva, U. Técnica de Lisboa - IST, Portugal
* Dave Thomas, Bedarra Research Labs, Canada
* David Méndez Acuña, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
* Eduardo Guerra, INPE, Brazil
* Hardy Jonck, DVT, South Africa
* Harold Ossher, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA
* Hugo Ferreira, ShiftForward, Portugal
* John Hosking, College of Engineering and Computer Science, ANU, Australia
* Jon Whittle, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, UK
* Joseph Yoder, The Refactory Inc., USA
* Leonardo Murta, UFF, Brazil
* Marian Petre, The Open University, UK
* Norbert Seyff, University of Zurich, Switzerland
* Robert B. France, Colorado State University, USA
* Steven Kelly, MetaCase, Finland

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