One of the primary goals of the Adaptive Vehicle Make (AVM) program of DARPA is the construction of a model-based design flow and tool chain, META, that will provide significant productivity increase in the development of complex cyber-physical systems. In model-based design, modeling languages and their underlying semantics play fundamental role in achieving compositionality. A significant challenge in the META design flow is the heterogeneity of the design space. This challenge is compounded by the need for rapidly evolving the design flow and the suite of modeling languages supporting it. Heterogeneity of models and modeling languages is addressed by the development of a model integration language – CyPhy – supporting constructs needed for modeling the interactions among different modeling domains. CyPhy targets simplicity: only those abstractions are imported from the individual modeling domains to CyPhy that are required for expressing relationships across sub-domains. This “semantic interface” between CyPhy and the modeling domains is formally defined, evolved as needed and verified for essential properties (such as well-formedness and invariance). Due to the need for rapid evolvability, defining semantics for CyPhy is not a “one-shot” activity; updates, revisions and extensions are ongoing and their correctness has significant implications on the overall consistency of the META tool chain. The focus of this paper is the methods and tools used for this purpose: the META Semantic Backplane. The Semantic Backplane is based on a mathematical framework provided by term algebra and logics, incorporates a tool suite for specifying, validating and using formal structural and behavioral semantics of modeling languages, and includes a library of metamodels and specifications of model transformations.

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