Pre-doctoral researcher / PhD student

Field: Model-Driven Engineering
Location: Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien), Austria Starting any time (ideally in 2016)

Description of the proposed PhD

« A Generic and Generative White-Box Testing Framework for Model Transformations »

Scientific context

Model-Driven Engineering (MDE) is a development paradigm that aims at coping with the complexity of systems by separating concerns through the use of models. A core characteristic of MDE is the use of model transformations to analyse, create or modify models. Given their prominent role in MDE, it is crucial to provide proper means for testing the correctness of model transformations.

While there is a range of approaches for testing model transformations, there are still many open challenges with respect to the crucial phases of test source model generation and fault localization, and they are typically hardly configurable and tightly coupled to a certain transformation language. In particular, most techniques rely on black-box testing, meaning that they do not consider the definition of the transformation to improve their result.

Proposed PhD

In this context, the PhD candidate would explore possibilities to improve the generic and white-box testing of model transformations. In particular, an envisioned direction is to consider the components of the model transformation language itself (i.e., its syntax, its semantics, etc.) as input artifacts of the testing framework. This could open perspectives such as:

  • Facilitating the integration of new model transformation languages by automatically analysing their semantics
  • Enhancing fault localization by executing the transformation using an augmented interpreter

The candidate will be strongly encouraged to develop own ideas and to either challenge or extend these initial ideas. More precisely, the exact scope and objective of the PhD will have to be defined during the first 6 months of work.

Work context

This work is funded by the Tetrabox research project, which is a collaboration between the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) and the Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU Linz) funded by the Austrian Science Fund. The team of this project consists of Manuel Wimmer (project leader) and Erwan Bousse (post-doctoral researcher), who will both guide and supervise the PhD candidate during his/her research at TU Wien, and also includes further researchers from JKU Linz.

The position will take place in the Business Informatics Group (BIG), an international research group of ~15 persons of the Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems at the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien). The current research areas of BIG cover model-driven engineering, data engineering, process engineering, Web engineering, and services engineering.

Candidate Profile

  • Master degree in computer science
  • Fluent English (German is NOT mandatory)
  • Interest and/or knowledge in MDE, software engineering, model transformation, language engineering
  • Interest and/or knowledge in software testing
  • Good coding skills (at least object-oriented programming and especially Java, and if possible Eclipse plugin development, Eclipse Modeling Framework (EMF), ATL, Xtend, and other MDE technologies)
  • Good writing skills


Applications for the position, including a curriculum vitae and a motivation letter, should be sent to Manuel Wimmer (

The closing date for applications is 28 October 2016.

Further Information / Contact

Manuel Wimmer
Institute for Software Technology and Interactive Systems Vienna University of Technology