Implementing a graph transformation engine in relational databases

Gergely Varró, Katalin Friedl, Dániel Varró

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


We present a novel approach to implement a graph transformation engine based on standard relational database management systems (RDBMSs). The essence of the approach is to create database views for each rule and to handle pattern matching by inner join operations while handling negative application conditions by left outer join operations. Furthermore, the model manipulation prescribed by the application of a graph transformation rule is also implemented using elementary data manipulation statements (such as insert, delete). As a result, we obtain a robust and fast transformation engine especially suitable for (1) extending modeling tools with an underlying RDBMS repository and (2) embedding model transformations into large distributed applications where models are frequently persisted in a relational database and transaction handling is required to handle large models consistently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-341
Number of pages29
JournalSoftware and Systems Modeling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Graph transformation
  • Pattern matching
  • Relational databases
  • Tool support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Modelling and Simulation

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