Form follows function:model-driven engineering for clinical trials

Davies, Jim, Gibbons, Jeremy, Calinescu, Radu, Crichton, Charles, Harris, Steve and Tsui, Andrew (2012). Form follows function:model-driven engineering for clinical trials. IN: UNSPECIFIED Liu, Zhiming and Wassyng, Alan (eds) Lecture notes in computer science . Berlin (DE): Springer.


We argue that, for certain constrained domains, elaborate model transformation technologies-implemented from scratch in general-purpose programming languages-are unnecessary for model-driven engineering; instead, lightweight configuration of commercial off-the-shelf productivity tools suffices. In particular, in the CancerGrid project, we have been developing model-driven techniques for the generation of software tools to support clinical trials. A domain metamodel captures the community's best practice in trial design. A scientist authors a trial protocol, modelling their trial by instantiating the metamodel; customized software artifacts to support trial execution are generated automatically from the scientist's model. The metamodel is expressed as an XML Schema, in such a way that it can be instantiated by completing a form to generate a conformant XML document. The same process works at a second level for trial execution: among the artifacts generated from the protocol are models of the data to be collected, and the clinician conducting the trial instantiates such models in reporting observations-again by completing a form to create a conformant XML document, representing the data gathered during that observation. Simple standard form management tools are all that is needed. Our approach is applicable to a wide variety of information-modelling domains: not just clinical trials, but also electronic public sector computing, customer relationship management, document workflow, and so on.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: Engineering & Applied Sciences > Computer science
Event Title: 1st International Symposium on Foundations of Health Informatics Engineering and Systems, FHIES 2011
Event Type: Other
Event Dates: 2011-08-29 - 2011-08-30
Uncontrolled Keywords: Computer Science(all),Theoretical Computer Science
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Published Date: 2012
Authors: Davies, Jim
Gibbons, Jeremy
Calinescu, Radu
Crichton, Charles
Harris, Steve
Tsui, Andrew


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