A retrospective on Telos as a metamodeling language for requirements engineering

Manolis Koubarakis, Alexander Borgida, Panos Constantopoulos, Martin Doerr, Matthias Jarke, Manfred A. Jeusfeld, John Mylopoulos, Dimitris Plexousakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Telos is a conceptual modeling language intended to capture software knowledge, such as software system requirements, domain knowledge, architectures, design decisions and more. To accomplish this, Telos was designed to be extensible in the sense that the concepts used to capture software knowledge can be defined in the language itself, instead of being built-in. This extensibility is accomplished through powerful metamodeling features, which proved very useful for interrelating heterogeneous models from requirements, model-driven software engineering, data integration, ontology engineering, cultural informatics and education. We trace the evolution of ideas and research results in the Telos project from its origins in the late eighties. Our account looks at the semantics of Telos, its various implementations and its applications. We also recount related research by other groups and the cross-influences of ideas thereof. We conclude with lessons learnt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalRequirements Engineering
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Information Systems


  • Conceptual modeling
  • Cultural informatics
  • Knowledge representation
  • Metamodeling
  • RDF
  • Requirements modeling
  • Semantic networks
  • Software engineering

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