Skip to content
Live Modeling Tools
Rascal C++
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.



Option 1: Virtual Machine

Nextep and its dependencies have been packaged in a Debian VM image that can be downloaded from here: Nextep-VM. Refer to the VirtualBox documentation for instructions on how to import the image in your host system.

The VM comes with default user and administrator accounts:

Username Password
nextep nextep
root nextep

In the VM, run the Eclipse shortcut on the desktop to access a pre-configured Nextep environment. From this point, follow the Playing with the Examples instructions below.

Option 2: Manual installation

Disclaimer: Please note that Nextep does not work on Windows systems yet. A Linux-based or MacOS-based system is required. Nextep does not play well with Z3 version 4.4.1. A more recent version of Z3 is required.

Setting up the Environment

Nextep is developed in Racal and relies on the AlleAlle library and the Z3 theorem prover. The easiest way to get started with Nextep is to set-up an Eclipse installation with the appropriate components:

  1. Make sure your system has a Java JDK (not JRE!) Version 8 installed and properly configured
  2. Download the appropriate Eclipse Photon IDE for Java Developers for your platform
  3. Download and install the Z3 theorem prover on your system (preferably using your package manager, e.g., apt-get install z3, pacman -S z3, etc.)
  4. Take note of the path to the z3 executable on your system (e.g. /usr/bin/z3). On Linux systems, this information can be retrieved by running the command which z3 in a console.
  5. Unzip the Eclipse archive and append a new line at the very end to the eclipse.ini file it contains:
    • -Dsolver.z3.path=/usr/bin. The path must point to the folder containing the z3 executable, not the full path of the z3 executable
  6. Open Eclipse and install the Rascal meta-programming environment:
    • Go to Help -> Install New Software..., use as the update site URL in the Work with: textbox, and then check the Rascal feature. Follow the instructions to install Rascal (Next -> Next -> Finish), and restart Eclipse when asked. In case of any errors, please check instructions on the Rascal download page

Getting the Source Code and Examples

  1. In the folder of your choice, clone the AlleAlle and live-modeling repositories:
    • git clone
    • git clone
  2. In Eclipse, open the Rascal perspective (Window -> Perspective -> Open Perspective -> Other -> Rascal)
  3. Navigate to File -> Import and select Existing Projects into Workspace
  4. In the Select root directory box, select the directory containing the AlleAlle and live-modeling projects you just cloned
  5. Make sure the two projects allealle and nextstep are checked in the Projects: list, and click Finish
  6. Wait for Eclipse to build the workspace with the two projects

Playing with the Examples

Nextep Specifications

The Nextep specifications for the state machine example and the robotic arm example are located in the nextstep -> input directory.

To automatically translate Nextep specifications to AlleAlle, then to Z3, and explore the results, follow these instructions:

  1. Select (click on) the nextstep project in the workspace explorer on the left
  2. In the top menu, click on Rascal -> Start Console
  3. In the Terminal view that appears in the bottom, type import Pipeline;
  4. Wait for the rascal> prompt to come back (ignore the warnings):
    • To run the state machine example (scenario II from the paper), type runNextepSM();
    • To run the robotic arm example, type runNextepRoboticArm();
  5. In both cases, a new Model Visualizer window will open, displaying the results in the form of tables
  6. All the tables prefixed with xn_ correspond to the newly found runtime state. For instance, in the state machine example, the xn_Runtime_current table displays the current state for the new version of the state machine doors as inferred by the solver

The interested reader can refer to the Pipeline.rsc file located in the src folder of the nextstep project to learn more about how Nextep specifications are translated to AlleAlle.

Manually-written AlleAlle Specifications

The nextstep -> output directory contains manually-written version of the AlleAlle specifications for the two example DSLs. They are better formatted than the automatically-generated version and contain additional documentation for the different constraints and relations.


The benchmarks for the state machine example presented in the paper can be reproduced in the following way:

  1. Select (click on) the nextstep project in the workspace explorer on the left
  2. In the top menu, click on Rascal -> Start Console
  3. In the Terminal view that appears in the bottom, type import benchmark::statemachine::StateMachineBenchmark;
  4. Run the benchmark by entering runBothScenarios();
  5. When the rascal> prompt comes back, the results are written in the nextstep/benchmark/ directory
You can’t perform that action at this time.