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MDSheet – Model-Driven Spreadsheets, Cunha, Jácome, Fernandes João Paulo, Mendes Jorge, Pereira Rui, and Saraiva João , Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Software Engineering methods in Spreadsheets, Volume 1209, p.31–33, (2014) Abstractsems14-td.pdf

This paper showcases MDSheet, a framework aimed at improving the engineering of spreadsheets. This framework is model-driven, and has been fully integrated under a spreadsheet system. Also, its practical interest has been demonstrated by several empirical studies.

MDSheet: A Framework for Model-driven Spreadsheet Engineering, Cunha, Jácome, Fernandes João Paulo, Mendes Jorge, and Saraiva João , Proceedings of the 34rd International Conference on Software Engineering, p.1395–1398, (2012) Abstracticse12_tooldemo.pdf

n this paper, we present MDSHEET, a framework for the embedding, evolution and inference of spreadsheet models. This framework offers a model-driven software development mechanism for spreadsheet users.

Model-Based Programming Environments for Spreadsheets, Cunha, Jácome, Mendes Jorge, Saraiva João, and Visser Joost , Journal of Science of Computer Programming (SCP), Volume 96, p.254–275, (2014) Abstractscp14.pdfWebsite

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Model-Based Programming Environments for Spreadsheets, Cunha, Jácome, Saraiva João, and Visser Joost , Programming Languages, Volume 7554, p.117–133, (2012) Abstractsblp12.pdf

Although spreadsheets can be seen as a flexible programming environment, they lack some of the concepts of regular programming languages, such as structured data types. This can lead the user to edit the spreadsheet in a wrong way and perhaps cause corrupt or redundant data. We devised a method for extraction of a relational model from a spreadsheet and the subsequent embedding of the model back into the spreadsheet to create a model-based spreadsheet programming environment. The extraction algorithm is specific for spreadsheets since it considers particularities such as layout and column arrangement. The extracted model is used to generate formulas and visual elements that are then embedded in the spreadsheet helping the user to edit data in a correct way. We present preliminary experimental results from applying our approach to a sample of spreadsheets from the EUSES Spreadsheet Corpus.

Model-Based Spreadsheet Engineering, Cunha, Jácome , March, (2011) Abstractthesis.pdf

Spreadsheets can be viewed as programming languages for non-professional programmers. These so-called ``end-user'' programmers vastly outnumber professional programmers creating millions of new spreadsheets every year. As a programming language, spreadsheets lack support for abstraction, testing, encapsulation, or structured programming. As a result, and as numerous studies have shown, the high rate of production is accompanied by an alarming high rate of errors. Some studies report that up to 90% of real-world spreadsheets contain errors. After their initial creation, many spreadsheets turn out to be used for storing and processing increasing amounts of data and supporting increasing numbers of users over long periods of time, making them complicated systems. An emerging solution to handle the complex and evolving software systems is Model-driven Engineering (MDE). To consider models as first class entities and any software artifact as a model or a model element is one of the basic principles of MDE. We adopted some techniques from MDE to solve spreadsheet problems. Most spreadsheets (if not all) lack a proper specification or a model. Using reverse engineering techniques we are able to derive various models from legacy spreadsheets. We use functional dependencies (a formalism that allow us to define how some column values depend on other column values) as building blocks for these models. Models can be used for several spreadsheet improvements, namely refactoring, safe evolution, migration or even generation of edit assistance. The techniques presented in this work are available under the framework HAEXCEL that we developed. It is composed of online and batch tools, reusable HASKELL libraries and OpenOffice.org extensions. A study with several end-users was organized to survey the impact of the techniques we designed. The results of this study indicate that the models can bring great benefits to spreadsheet engineering helping users to commit less errors and to work faster.

Model-based Spreadsheet Engineering: Using Relational Models to Improve Spreadsheets, Cunha, Jácome , (2012) Abstractbook.pdf

Spreadsheets can be viewed as programming languages for non-professional programmers. These so-called ``end-user'' programmers vastly outnumber professional programmers creating millions of new spreadsheets every year. As a programming language, spreadsheets lack support for abstraction, testing, encapsulation, or structured programming. As a result, and as numerous studies have shown, the high rate of production is accompanied by an alarming high rate of errors. Some studies report that up to 90% of real-world spreadsheets contain errors. After their initial creation, many spreadsheets turn out to be used for storing and processing increasing amounts of data and supporting increasing numbers of users over long periods of time, making them complicated systems. An emerging solution to handle the complex and evolving software systems is Model-driven Engineering (MDE). To consider models as first class entities and any software artifact as a model or a model element is one of the basic principles of MDE. We adopted some techniques from MDE to solve spreadsheet problems. Most spreadsheets (if not all) lack a proper specification or a model. Using reverse engineering techniques we are able to derive various models from legacy spreadsheets. We use functional dependencies (a formalism that allow us to define how some column values depend on other column values) as building blocks for these models. Models can be used for several spreadsheet improvements, namely refactoring, safe evolution, migration or even generation of edit assistance. The techniques presented in this work are available under the framework HAEXCEL that we developed. It is composed of online and batch tools, reusable HASKELL libraries and OpenOffice.org extensions. A study with several end-users was organized to survey the impact of the techniques we designed. The results of this study indicate that the models can bring great benefits to spreadsheet engineering helping users to commit fewer errors and to work faster.

Modeling the Impact of UAVs in Sustainability, Conejero, José, Brito Isabel, Moreira Ana, Cunha Jácome, and Araújo João , 5th International Workshop on Requirements Engineering for Sustainable Systems (RE4SuSy) @RE16, Beijing, China, (2016) 2016-modeling-impact.pdf