35 years ago T.W. Pratt invented pair grammars (PGs), probably the first declarative model transformation approach of the world. It was mainly designed to translate string into graph languages and vice versa. 23 years later on PGs were rediscovered and generalized to triple graph grammars (TGGs). Nowadays quite a number of different groups around the world are working in parallel to

  • adapt TGGs to different application scenarios
  • fill the gaps of their formal definition
  • generalize them to handle multiple sources and targets
  • come up with efficient and versatile implementations

and so forth. Partly due to the lack of coordination most of these TGG groups are not working together and not exchanging their ideas and findings systematically. This kind of non-cooperation didn't matter as long as "model or graph transformation" was an exotic topic studied by small group of researchers - more or less ignored by the rest of the language engineering world relying on attribute grammars and tree transformation tools.

Today the situation has changed radically with the appearance of buzzwords like MDA (Model-Driven Architecture) and MDD (Model-Driven Development). TGGs are now in fierce competition with dozends of model transformation languages with some of them even sharing the same set of attributes that made TGGs so attractive:

  • declarative and visual transformation approach
  • automatic derivation of forward and backward transformations
  • precise formal definition

The most prominent example of this kind is QVT, OMG's just finalized standard of a Query, View, and Transformation language. Parts of QVT have been designed by colleagues with close contacts to the graph transformation community and adopted basic TGG concepts. So we are now blessed with another OMG standard that might replace all sorts of TGGs sooner or later.

Therefore, it is time to join our forces and develop strategies how to guarantee the survival and to spread the news about TGGs together.


Technische Universität Darmstadt

Institut für Datentechnik

Fachgebiet Echtzeitsysteme

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Andy Schürr

Geb. S3|06 (3. Stock, Raum 313)

Merckstr. 25

64283 Darmstadt

+49 6151 16-6940
+49 6151 16-6942

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