Example of a Geologic map information meta-model, with four types of meta-objects, and their self-references.
A metamodel or surrogate model is a model of a model, and metamodeling is the process of generating such metamodels. Thus metamodeling or meta-modeling is the analysis, construction and development of the frames, rules, constraints, models and theories applicable and useful for modeling a predefined class of problems. As its name implies, this concept applies the notions of meta- and modeling in software engineering and systems engineering. Metamodels are of many types and have diverse applications.
A metamodel/ surrogate model is a model of the model, i.e. a simplified model of an actual model of a circuit, system, or software like entity. Metamodel can be a mathematical relation or algorithm representing input and output relations. A model is an abstraction of phenomena in the real world; a metamodel is yet another abstraction, highlighting properties of the model itself. A model conforms to its metamodel in the way that a computer program conforms to the grammar of the programming language in which it is written. Various types of metamodels include polynomial equations, neural network, Kriging, etc. "Metamodeling" is the construction of a collection of "concepts" (things, terms, etc.) within a certain domain. Metamodeling typically involves studying the output and input relationships and then fitting right metamodels to represent that behavior.
Meta-models are closely related to ontologies. Both are often used to describe and analyze the relations between concepts
Ontologies: express something meaningful within a specified universe or domain of discourse by utilizing a grammar for using vocabulary. The grammar specifies what it means to be a well-formed statement, assertion, query, etc. (formal constraints) on how terms in the ontology’s controlled vocabulary can be used together.
Meta-modeling: can be considered as an explicit description (constructs and rules) of how a domain-specific model is built. In particular, this comprises a formalized specification of the domain-specific notations. Typically, metamodels are – and always should follow - a strict rule set. "A valid metamodel is an ontology, but not all ontologies are modeled explicitly as metamodels".
Types of metamodels
For software engineering, several types of models (and their corresponding modeling activities) can be distinguished:
A library of similar metamodels has been called a Zoo of metamodels.
There are several types of meta-model zoos. Some are expressed in ECore. Others are written in MOF 1.4 – XMI 1.2. The metamodels expressed in UML-XMI1.2 may be uploaded in Poseidon for UML, a UMLCASE tool.
Surrogate Modeling Toolbox (SMT: https://github.com/SMTorg/smt): is a Python package that contains a collection of surrogate modeling methods, sampling techniques, and benchmarking functions. This package provides a library of surrogate models that is simple to use and facilitates the implementation of additional methods. SMT is different from existing surrogate modeling libraries because of its emphasis on derivatives, including training derivatives used for gradient-enhanced modeling, prediction derivatives, and derivatives with respect to the training data. It also includes new surrogate models that are not available elsewhere: kriging by partial-least squares reduction and energy-minimizing spline interpolation.
^International Organization for Standardization / International Electrotechnical Commission, 2007. ISO/IEC 24744. Software Engineering - Metamodel for Development Methodologies.
^E. Söderström, et al. (2001) "Towards a Framework for Comparing Process Modelling Languages", in: Lecture Notes In Computer Science; Vol. 2348. Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering. Pages: 600 – 611, 2001