Multilevel Modelling: Theoretical Foundation, Languages, Tools and Applications


Guest editors: Tony Clark and Ulrich Frank

Designing software systems for reuse, integration and flexibility requires abstractions such as classification, generalisation, or encapsulation. Traditional modelling and programming languages are usually limited to one classification level only. Therefore, they do not support abstractions that would require additional levels of classification. As a consequence, software designers and programmers are confronted with the problem that they cannot express abstractions that would be useful to satisfy important design goals and to represent patterns of domain concepts. Domain-specific modelling languages offer an attractive perspective on introducing advanced abstractions to foster reuse and flexibility. However, their implementation and use are compromised by restrictions of mainstream programming languages.

Multilevel modelling and programming promise to overcome these limitations by allowing languages, models and instances to co-exist within the same model or program. Multilevel languages increase expressivity and reflective capabilities. In recent years, various languages and tools have demonstrated the potential of this new paradigm. However, research on multilevel modelling and programming languages is still restricted to a relatively small community.

Multilevel approaches offer an opportunity for a new paradigm that can be applied in a wide range of situations. In order to realise the potential of this approach there is need to demonstrate that it is based on sound principles and that it enables more versatile tools which are suited to empower users of future software systems. This special issue is dedicated to provide a platform for researchers and practitioners who work on multilevel languages, models and tools and/or apply them to develop advanced application systems.

Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures (EMISA) is an international scholarly open access journal with a unique focus on novel and innovative research regarding all aspects of Enterprise Modelling. It allows for supplementing articles with additional material such as models, specifications or tools. We seek contributions that address original aspects of developing languages, language concepts, models, tools and related application systems for multilevel modelling.

Topics of interest for this special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • Methods to guide analysis and design of multilevel systems and languages.
  • Innovative system architectures enabled by multilevel languages.
  • Use of multilevel languages for creating process-modelling languages.
  • Formal foundations for multilevel languages.
  • Utilizing multilevel languages for enabling models at runtime.
  • Tools for multilevel languages.
  • Applications of multilevel languages and tools.
  • Novel multilevel languages.
  • Multilevel extensions to traditional languages.


Submissions to this special issue shall follow the journal's author guidelines for general submissions and will be subject to the regular journal review process. For author guidelines and further information on submitting to EMISA, see

Important note: Make sure to enter 'SI Multilevel modelling' in the 'Comments to the editor(s)' text field in step 1 of the online submission process. Also please make sure to select the appropriate type of submission (i.e. 'Original Research Contributions' or 'Experience Reports').


(1) Intent to submit: Aug 1, 2016 (via email to
(2) Full submission of article: Oct 31, 2016