ModX

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1 Definition

ModX is a graphic tool used to create both model and MOF-based metamodel. It supports XMI format (import/export) in order to be compatible with other Model driven architecture (MDA) tools.

2 Use cases

When should you use ModX?
  • When you want to graphically define models and there is no graphical editor for the underlying metamodel
  • When you have to design a new metamodel or to improve an existing one
  • When you want to manipulate models and to remain compliant with MDA standards (MOF, XMI, UML)
  • When you have to grasp and to master a complex metamodel provided in XMI format by experimenting with it
(ModX Home Page, , retrieved 19:58, 28 June 2007 (MEST))

3 Functionalities

(1) With ModX you can either load an existing Meta-object Facility (MOF) model or define your own. In both cases, UML notation is used.

(2) You then can tune graphical notation and defined views: “In ModX, models are edited in a graphical way. You can change the graphical notation associated to a metamodel in order to personalize the way you edit a model. The graphical notation is kept independent of the metamodel. Models tend to get bigger and more complex and so are difficult to read and to grasp. To deal with that, ModX introduces the concept of view which corresponds to a subset of a model and a particular point of view. Thus, a model may be represented through one or several views. The benefit of using views is twofold: first, it allows focusing on a specific part of the model, second it allows creating or elaborating a model according to a particular concern.” [1], retrieved 19:58, 28 June 2007 (MEST).

(3) Finally you can create models and if necessary change the metamodel.

4 In education

This system is used as a framework to deploy learning design on eLearning platforms. Pedagogical scenarios from an independent metamodel (IMS LD metamodel) can be translated to a specific metamodel and then exported to the target platform with GenDep - Generic Deployer.

The underlying idea is that teachers should be able to design learning environments profiting from the great number of web-based tools and their genericity. It's like IMS Learning Design, but without the constraints of given platforms and with the freeom to choose another metamodel than LD too. To implement this, Caron et al. use of the principles of OMG-Model Driven Architecture.


One of the inherent postulates of MDA is that implementing an abstract model is not a trivial problem, and OMG proposes one way to solve this problem. For implementation flexibility, integration, sustainability and test purposes, MDA proposes to design an application through a software chain made up of four phases:
  1. The development of a model without any computer concerns (CIM : Computer Independant Model)
  2. Its manual transformation into a model in a particular technological context (PIM : Platform Independant Model)
  3. Its automatic transformation into a model specific of the target platform (PSM : Platform Specific Model), this model is to be refined.
  4. Its realisation on the target platform
(Caron, Lepallec et Sockeel, 2006:2)

ModX is used for the definition of meta-models and the creation of models andGenDep for the implementation.

Here is an example of an implemented "task workspace" to scaffold the remote collaborative trainees' tutorships and the production of a professional master thesis. Each student's personal workspace is prestructured in 5 tasks: investigate, build the tutorship, formalise the mission, conduct conceptual investigations and gather references.

Design of a PIM meta-model and model

5 Links

ModX
Model-driven architecture/engineering

6 References

  • Caron ,Pierre-André (2006) Implantation de scénarios pédagogiques selon une approche orientée modèle Une application de l'IDM aux EIAH, Rencontres Jeunes Chercheurs en EIAH, RJC-EIAH'2006. PDF
  • Caron, Pierre-André (2007): Ingénierie dirigée par les modèles pour la construction de dispositifs pédagogiques sur des plateformes de formation, PHD Thesis, Université des Sciences et Technologie de Lille - Lille I, Abstract, full PDF and PPTs
  • Caron, Pierre-André; Lepallec, Xavier and Sockeel, Sébastien (2006). Configuring A Web-Based Tool Through Pedagogical Scenarios, IADIS Virtual Multi Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems (MCCSIS 2006). [www.iadis.org/Multi2006/Papers/15/S036_EL.pdf PDF]
  • LePallec X and Bourguin G., 2001, RAM3 un outil dynamique pour le Meta-Object Facility, Langages et Modèles à Objets, proceedings of LMO'01, Le Croisic, FRANCE, L'Objet, Hermes, vol.7 - n°1-2/2001, pp 79-94.