Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Analyzing conceptual models such as process models, data models, or organizational charts is useful for several purposes in information systems engineering (e.g., for business process improvement, compliance management, model driven software development, and software alignment). To analyze conceptual models structurally and semantically, so-called model query languages have been put forth. Model query languages take a model pattern and conceptual models as input and return all subsections of the models that match this pattern. Existing model query languages typically focus on a single modeling language and/or application area (such as analysis of execution semantics of process models), are restricted in their expressive power of representing model structures, and/or abstain from graphical pattern specification. Because these restrictions may hamper query languages from propagating into practice, we close this gap by proposing a modeling language-spanning structural model query language based on flexible graph search that, hence, provides high structural expressive power. To address ease-of-use, it allows one to specify model queries using a diagram. In this paper, we present the syntax and the semantics of the diagramed model query language (DMQL), a corresponding search algorithm, an implementation as a modeling tool prototype, and a performance evaluation.