The 4th OOPSLA Workshop on Domain-Specific Modeling

DSM'04 has now finished. You can view the papers and presentations as well as the results of the group work sessions.

Information about other workshops in the series is available here.

Themes and Goals

An upward shift in abstraction leads to a corresponding increase in productivity. In the past this has occurred when programming languages have evolved towards a higher level of abstraction. Today, domain-specific modeling languages provide a viable solution for continuing to raise the level of abstraction beyond coding, making development faster and easier.

In domain-specific modeling, the models are constructed using concepts that represent things in the application domain, not concepts of a given programming language. The modeling language follows the domain abstractions and semantics, allowing developers to perceive themselves as working directly with domain concepts. The models represent simultaneously the design, implementation and documentation of the system, which can be generated directly from them. In a number of cases the final products can be automatically generated from these high-level specifications with domain-specific code generators. This automation is possible because of domain-specificity: both the modeling language and code generators fit to the requirements of a narrow domain only, often in a single company.

Workshop format

The objective of the workshop is to bring together practitioners and researchers in the field of DSM to discuss and share experiences, present new ideas on modeling and tools. The workshop followed the same structure found effective during the past workshops: presentations of selected papers in the morning and group work and its reporting afternoon. Pictures from these sessions are available here.

Papers and presentations

The papers were organized into five themes: experiences from the industry, cases of DSM language creation, DSM based on Model-Driven Architecture, tool support and transformations. Together all these contributions form a basis for fruitful discussions on creation, use and refinement of DSM and supporting tools. The accepted papers and presentation slides can be found from the proceedings page.

Group work results

Afternoon all participants split up into 4 focus groups to discuss and explore specifically defined questions targeted toward that topic. At the end of the workshop each group gave a presentation summarizing its discussion (group reports in slides).

Program committee

Organizing Committee and Backgrounds

Juha-Pekka Tolvanen ( is the CEO of MetaCase. He received his Master's degree in 1992, and his doctoral thesis was accepted in 1998. His area of expertise is on engineering software design languages and generators. He has acted as a consultant to numerous companies and published papers on method engineering in several journals and conferences (for more info see 

Jonathan Sprinkle ( is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in 2003 from Vanderbilt University, based on research in metamodel based environment evolution. His research interests in domain-specific modeling allow him to bring DSM techniques and frameworks into research application domains such as hybrid systems, hardware/software co-synthesis, wireless networking, aerial flight controllers, and database management. Given this wide array of domains, his publication involvement touches various journals and conferences/workshops, from OOPSLA, GPCE, JUCS, JVLC, and IEEE’s Computer, Potentials, EBCS, IPSN, CDC, and CCA. He is a committee member of the IPSN ’04 conference, and a regular reviewer for IEEE Potentials. In addition, he is teaching the first graduate course on domain-specific modeling at the University of California, Berkeley.

Matti Rossi ( is a professor in Helsinki School of Economics. He received his Ph.D. degree in Business Administration from the University of Jyväskylä in 1998. He has worked as research fellow at Erasmus University Rotterdam and as a visiting assistant professor at Georgia State University, Atlanta. His research papers have appeared in journals such as Information and Management, and Information Systems, and over dozen of them have appeared in conferences such as ICIS, HICSS and CAiSE. He was an organizing committee member and workshop chair for CAiSE'95, organizing committee member for ECOOP'97, organizing committee member and technology chair for ICIS’98 and minitrack chair for Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences 98, 99, 00 and 01.