Metamodeling takes up a fundamental approach of science in the sense that it aims for discovering concepts on a metalevel that are applicable in multiple scenarios. In particular, metamodeling as we use it in our research and teaching activities stands for the design, formalization, and development of domain-specific conceptual modeling methods. It is thus concerned with the discovery of concepts for modeling languages, model algorithms, and modeling procedures and their technical realization in the form of modeling tools and services.

The application domains of metamodeling are mannifold and constantly expanding. Domains that we have investigated in the past include:

  • Strategic Management
  • Business Process Management
  • Quality Management
  • Software Engineering
  • Data Management and Data Bases
  • Smart Cities
  • Product Service Systems
  • Ontologies and Rule Languages
  • Legal Informatics
  • Etc.

Metamodeling often requires inter-disciplinary research in order to master the complexity of the investigated application domains. We are thus interested in collaboration both with experts in academia and industry for developing new modeling methods and tools.


  • Conceptual Modeling

    Conceptual modeling is a widely-used and recognized approach for creating models based on a defined schema. Such a schema specifies the concepts that are to be used in the models, which is typically expressed in the form of artifical languages that can be processed by machines. On the other hand, the elements in the schema are typically assigned a visual representation, which makes it easy to be used by humans for supporting communication and understanding the contents of models.

  • Development Environment

    The implementation of modeling methods and modeling languages in the form of tools is today greatly facilitated through so-called metamodeling platforms. These permit not only to automatically generate graphical model editors based on a given metamodel but also permit non-technical users to quickly define and realize new modeling languages. For our courses and research projects we currently revert to the ADOxx platform (, which has been originally developed at the University of Vienna and is today maintained by BOC AG.

  • Tools

    The following modeling tools have been developed or co-developed by members of our group and can be downloaded from

    • SeMFIS ToolkitThe SeMFIS Toolkit provides a bridge between conceptual models and ontologies & rules. Through a distinct semantic annotation model, links between the elements of an arbitrary conceptual model and an ontology can be established in the sense of model weaving. Currently, OWL and Frame ontologies are supported. As examples, the modeling languages for BPMN, UML class diagrams and working environment models are included.
    • RUPERT ToolkitThe RUPERT Toolkit targets the improvement of business processes from the perspective of quality management. Besides various model types for supporting the quality management techniques in business process improvement projects it features an integration with the statistical analysis platform R.
    • ADOxx Horus MethodThe ADOxx Horus Toolkit has been developed in cooperation with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. It offers an ADOxx-based implementation of the Horus method for holistic enterprise modeling. At its core, the Horus approach uses a special Petri net-based model type for representing XML nets.
    • SERM Modeling ToolkitThe approach of SERM (Structured Entity Relationship Model) provides a semantic data modeling approach that permits the direct generation of SQL code.
    • PSS Scenario ModelerThe PSS scenario modeler offers a modeling environment for designing and anaylzing product service systems. For this purpose it provides concepts for modeling actors, products, services, contracts and many more aspects.
  • Publications

    Recent publications by our group in the area of metamodeling:

    • Sandkuhl, Kurt, Fill, Hans-Georg, Hoppenbrouwers, Stijn, Krogstie, John, Leue, Andreas, Matthes, Florian, Opdahl, Andreas, Schwabe, Gerhard, Uludag, Omer, Winter, Robert (2018): From Expert Discipline to Common Practice: A Vision and Research Agenda for Extending the Reach of Enterprise Modelling, Business and Information Systems Engineering, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 69-80, Springer.
    • Pittl, Benedikt, Fill, Hans-Georg (2018): Transforming Enterprise Models to Linked Data via Semantic Annotations, in: Schaefer, I. et al.: Modellierung 2018, 21.-23. Februar 2018, Braunschweig, Germany. LNI P-280, Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. 2018, ISBN 978-3-88579-674-9, 55-70.
    • Widenmaier, Anna, Fill, Hans-Georg (2018): Aligning Enterprise Knowledge and Data: A Domain-Specific Modeling Method for Social Media Strategies, in: Drews, P. et al.: Tagungsband Multikonferenz Wirtschaftsinformatik 2018 - Data driven X - Turning Data into Value, ISBN 978-3-935786-72-0, 1466-1477.
    • Fill, Hans-Georg (2018): Semantic Annotations of Enterprise Models for Supporting the Evolution of Model-Driven Organizations, Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures - International Journal of Conceptual Modelling, Vol. 13 (2018), DOI:
    • Glässner, T.H., Heumann, F., Keßler, L., Härer, F., Steffan, A., and Fill, H.-G. (2017): Experiences from the Implementation of a Structured-Entity-Relationship Modeling Method in a Student Project, in: Bork, D., Karagiannis, D., Vanthienen, J.: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Practicing Open Enterprise Modeling within OMiLAB (PrOse 2017) co-located with 10th IFIP WG 8.1 Working Conference on the Practice of Enterprise Modelling (PoEM 2017), CEUR Proceedings.
    • Pittl, Benedikt, Fill, Hans-Georg, Honegger, Gerald (2017): Enabling Risk-Aware Enterprise Modeling using Semantic Annotations and Visual Rules, ECIS 2017, European Conference on Information Systems, AIS.
    • Fill, Hans-Georg, Pittl, Benedikt, Honegger, Gerald (2017): A Modeling Environment for Visual SWRL Rules based on the SeMFIS Platform, in: Maedche, A. et al.: Designing the Digital Transformation - Proceedings of the 12th International Conference, DESRIST 2017, 452-456.
    • Fill, Hans-Georg, Grieb, Andreas (2017): Visuelle Modellierung des Rechts: Vorgehensweise und praktische Umsetzung für Rechtsexperten, in: Jusletter IT, 23. Februar 2017, Weblaw.
    • Nabizai, Arzo, Fill, Hans-Georg (2017): Eine Modellierungsmethode zur Visualisierung und Analyse von Gesetzestexten, in: Jusletter IT, 23. Februar 2017, Weblaw.