Two-Level Modelling Considered Harmful

  • 2017-05-10
  • Research
  • PhD School

Lecture by guest professor Thomas Kühne, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


Two-level object-oriented technology has been tremendously successful in both modelling (cf. UML) and programming (cf. Java). However, it has been shown that attempting to capture certain domains or systems with only two classification levels (i.e., objects and their types) results in accidental complexity that stems from an impedance mismatch between the subject at hand and the solution technology used to capture it. Examples for domains that can be more elegantly captured using multiple classification levels include biological taxonomies, process (meta-) models, software architectures, and systems with dynamic type levels.

In this talk, I will present downsides of using two-level technology workarounds, discuss the novel classification dimension employed in multi-level modelling, explain the notion of “deep characterization”, and provide a brief outlook on future multi-level research.


Thomas Kühne is an Associate Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Prior to that he was an Assistant Professor at the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, an Acting Professor at the University of Mannheim, Germany, and a Lecturer at Staffordshire University, UK. His research interests include model-driven development, metamodeling, and multi-level modelling. He received his Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Computer Science from the Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany in 1998 and 1992 respectively.


The lecture series on research talks by the visiting professors of the PhD School can also be credited as an elective course for students of master programs of computer science: TISS


  • Thomas Kühne, Victoria University of Wellington, NZ


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