Descriptive vs Prescriptive Models in Industry
Paper in proceeding, 2016

To understand the importance, characteristics, and limitations of modeling we need to consider the context where models are used. Different organizations within the same company can use models for different purposes and modelling can involve different stakeholders and tools. Recently, several papers discussing how industries use MDE have been published and they have contradictory findings. In this paper we report lessons learned from our collaborations with three large companies. We found that it is important to distinguish between descriptive models (used for documentation) and prescriptive models (used for development) to better understand the adoption of modelling in industry. Our findings are valuable for both academia and industry. A better understanding of modeling in large companies can help academia conceiving innovative MDE solutions that can have a real impact in industry. On the other hand, industry can better understand how to properly exploit MDE and what to expect from it.

Modeling in industry

Descriptive models

Prescriptive models


Rogardt Heldal

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Engineering (Chalmers)

Patrizio Pelliccione

University of Gothenburg

Ulf Eliasson

Chalmers, Computer Science and Engineering (Chalmers), Software Technology (Chalmers)

Jonn Lantz

Volvo Cars

Jesper Derehag


Jon Whittle

Lancaster University

Proceedings of the ACM/IEEE 19th International Conference on Model Driven Engineering Languages and Systems (MODELS 2016)

978-145034321-3 (ISBN)

Subject Categories

Software Engineering





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