Scenario based and Grounded Theory based Domain Specific Modelling Design: a comparison

  • Bachelor Thesis Business Information Systems
  • Master Thesis Business Information Systems
  • Diploma Thesis Business Information Systems



Domain Specific Modelling Languages (DSMLs) reconstruct professional domain terminology (e.g. from finance, or electricity), thereby increasing the expressiveness of domain particulars. By (1) promoting modeling productivity, in that one does not have to reconstruct a domain from scratch, as opposed to general purpose languages, (2) fostering communication, in terms of staying close everyday terminology used by domain experts, (3) fostering domain specific analyses, by abstracting away from unnecessary details, DSMLs increasingly gain in popularity (Voelter et al, 2013). However, being constituted of reconstructions of domain concepts, an important challenge in designing a DSML lies in ensuring its closeness to a domain. DSML approaches go about differently in ensuring this closeness. Particularly, a difference lies here between scenario-based approaches such as (Frank, 2013), and those that reconstruct a DSML from domain data, such as (de Kinderen, 2017).


The purpose of this thesis is to compare two approaches to DSML design: a scenario-driven approach, as exemplified by (Frank, 2017), and a domain data driven approach by means of Grounded Theory, as exemplified by (de Kinderen, 2017). To this end, applies both approaches to design a language, and compares the experience therein. The DSML at hand concerns a domain of choice: this can be security of mobile payment systems, IT infrastructure for the smart grid, or otherwise. Depending on the candidate's experience, the thesis can also scope itself to one of the abovementioned approaches.


  • Frank, U.. "Domain-specific modeling languages: requirements analysis and design guidelines." Domain Engineering. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013. 133-157.
  • De Kinderen, S. “Using Grounded Theory for Domain Specific Modelling Language Design”, submitted 2017
  • Voelter, Markus, et al. DSL engineering: Designing, implementing and using domain-specific languages. dslbook. org, 2013.
  • Mernik, Marjan, et al. "When and how to develop domain-specific languages." ACM computing surveys (CSUR) 37, no. 4 (2005): 316-344.