The EPSRC network MDE Net brings together research and practice in Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) in the UK and internationally. We will do this by

  1. Generating new, high impact research collaborations and projects driven by the software industry or by stakeholders from other subject areas that could benefit from MDE (e.g., artificial intelligence, computational biology);
  2. Producing and curating comprehensive MDE training material and delivering it through a range of training activities; and
  3. Increasing awareness, and thus impact, of MDE research and technology in the software industry.

This is a new network funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in the United Kingdom. As we ramp up network activities over the coming weeks and months, this web page will grow and offer increasingly more content. If you are interested in learning more about the network and about opportunities for you, please sign up to our mailing list below.

What do we mean by MDE?

Model-Driven Engineering has been studied and practiced under many different names over the past decade or so. So even if you don’t know the term MDE, you may have heard terms like MDSE (Model-Driven Software / Systems Engineering), MDD (Model-Driven Development) etc. The central idea is to enable the development of software from higher-level domain-specific modelling languages. This allows a better collaboration between software engineers and domain experts, which is essential for addressing the ICT needs of our modern society. Current predictions suggest that by 2030 1.6 million ICT professional jobs will need to be filled in the European Union alone. This software capacity crisis clearly can only be achieved by enabling co-creation between domain experts and software engineers. MDE is the technology to enable such co-creation.

We are aiming for this network to be a broad church. If you are interested in software development, automation, or (computational) modeling in other domains (biology, AI, robotics, finance, …), this network will likely have something for you.

What is a model?

A model is an abstraction of some real system for a purpose. This can be a graphical software design model–for example in UML–created to help understand how a new system would solve a particular problem. It could also be a textual specification of a software architecture written to drive the deployment and infrastructure configuration. But it could also be a CAD model of a new car or a biological model for the simulation of cellular interactions in coordinating complex behaviours such as tissue growth.

We are interested in models that can be created / read / manipulated by humans and can also be processed by computers, supporting the automation of some process that offers value to the human stakeholder. Again, this can range from automating the production of source code (as in the example of low-code platforms) to computer-based simulation of models in biology, urban development etc.

People and contacts

MDE Net is directed by Dr Steffen Zschaler and co-directed by Prof Perdita Stevens. You can follow us on Twitter and Linkedin. You can also find news releases on the King’s College London blog, the University of Edinburgh blog, and an article on modelling-languages.com.

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