3. Detailed descriptions of the research topics

3.1. Theory of Metamodeling

3.1.1. Introduction

So far most studies in method engineering and metamodeling have evolved without a thorough analysis of the underlying concepts and theories. Because of this, different approaches are difficult to compare, terminology is confusing and vague, and the underlying principles and goals of metamodeling are poorly defined. Consequently, one part of the research time (a small part) has been devoted to a follow-up of theoretical discussions of the principles of IS modelling and metamodeling in different areas, including the work of the FRISCO group (IFIP TC8 Task Group), and to clarifying the theoretical basis of metamodeling.

3.1.2. Objectives

In the MetaPHOR project the objectives for developing metamodeling theory are as follows:

to investigate and assess theoretical principles in different areas pertinent to metamodeling, including metasystems theory, logic and database and information systems modelling,

to analyse the evolution of metamodeling principles and methodology in systems development,

to examine the potential of object-oriented principles and hypertext systems in developing next generation method engineering methods and tools.

3.1.3. Research results

Because of the workload and scheduling problems of the leader participants the metamethodological paper is yet in working process.

3.1.4. Future plans

The current working paper (Kerola and Lyytinen, 1992) will be fleshed out into a full research paper. Moreover, the theoretical principles will be further developed and critically examined in relation to the method engineering tests carried out in the project.