Model Driven Development of Gamified Applications


  • Piero Fraternali Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan, 20133, Italy
  • Sergio Luis Herrera Gonzalez Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan, 20133, Italy



Model Driven Engineering, gamification, rapid prototyping, code generation, IFML


Gamification is defined as the injection of game elements in applications with non-gaming purposes. This technique has shown outstanding results in promoting the engagement and activity on communities of users, in both business and non-for-profits fields. Often, gamification features are added late in the application life-cycle and must be weaved into the existing functions. In this paper, we present a model-driven approach to the design of gamified applications, which accelerates the introduction of gamification elements in pre-existing or new applications. The approach relies on a data model of gamification features and on design patterns for the front-end, which encode the essential elements of gamification in a platform independent way.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Piero Fraternali, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan, 20133, Italy

Piero Fraternali is Full professor at the Dipartimento di Elettronica e Informazione, Politecnico di Milano. He received a Laurea Degree in Electrical Engineering (cum laude) in 1989 and a PhD in Computer Science from the Politecnico di Milano in 1994. His main research interests concern database integrity, active databases, software engineering, and methodologies and tools for WEB application development.

He is author of several articles on International Journals and Conference Proceedings, and he is also the author, with Stefano Ceri, of the books: “Designing Database Applications with Objects and Rules: the IDEA Methodology” (Addison-Wesley, 1997); “Designing data-Intensive web Applications” (The Morgan-Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems, Jim Gray, Series Editor, December 2002). He was the technical manager of the W3I3 Project “Web-Based Intelligent Information Infrastructures” (1998–2000). He is co-inventor of WebML ( a model for the conceptual design of Web applications (US Patent 6,591,271, July 2003) and co-founder of Web Models (, a start-up of the Politecnico di Milano focused on the commercialization of an innovative tool suite called WebRatio for the Model-Driven Development of Web applications. He was Program Chair of the International Conference on Web Engineering in 2004 and Vice President of the Software Engineering Track of the WWW conference in 2005.

Sergio Luis Herrera Gonzalez, Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, Milan, 20133, Italy

Sergio Luis Herrera Gonzalez is a Ph.D. student at the Politecnico di Milano since spring 2018. He attended the Universidad de las Américas – Puebla, in Mexico, where he received his B.Sc. in Computer Software Engineering in 2003. He went on to purchase an M.Sc. in Computer Science and Engineering at Politecnico di Milano in 2014. His Ph.D. work centres on Model-driven engineering and focused on persuasive applications for sustainability.


Ronita Bardhan, Chaitra Bahuman, Imrankhan Pathan, and Krithi Ramamritham. Designing a game based persuasive technology to promote pro-environmental behaviour (peb). In 2015 IEEE Region 10 Humanitarian Technology Conference (R10-HTC), pages 1–8. IEEE, 2015.

Carlo Bernaschina, Emanuele Falzone, Piero Fraternali, and Sergio Luis Herrera Gonzalez. The virtual developer: Integrating code generation and manual development with conflict resolution. ACM Trans. Softw. Eng. Methodol., 28(4):20:1–20:38, September 2019.

Marco Brambilla and Piero Fraternali. Interaction flow modeling language: Model-driven UI engineering of web and mobile apps with IFML. Morgan Kaufmann, 2014.

Alejandro Calderón, Juan Boubeta-Puig, and Mercedes Ruiz. Medit4cep-gam: A model- driven approach for user-friendly gamification design, monitoring and code generation in cep-based systems. Information and Software Technology, 95:238–264, 2018.

Miquel Casals, Marta Gangolells, Marcel Macarulla, Alba Fuertes, Vincent Vimont, and Luis Miguel Pinho. A serious game enhancing social tenants' behavioral change towards energy efficiency. In 2017 Global Internet of Things Summit (GIoTS), pages 1–6. IEEE, 2017.

F. Ciccozzi, I. Crnkovic, D. Di Ruscio, I. Malavolta, P Pelliccione, and R. Spalazzese. Model-driven engineering for mission-critical iot systems. IEEE Software, 34(1):46–53, Jan 2017.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. HarperPerennial, New York, 39, 1997.

Vanessa De Luca and Roberta Castri. The social power game: A smart application for sharing energy-saving behaviours in the city. FSEA 2014, 27, 2014.

Sebastian Deterding, Dan Dixon, Rilla Khaled, and Lennart E. Nacke. From game design elements to gamefulness: defining “gamification”. In Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments, MindTrek 2011, Tampere, Finland, September 28–30, 2011, pages 9–15, 2011.

Jürgen Engel, Christian Märtin, and Peter Forbrig. A concerted model-driven and pattern-based framework for developing user interfaces of interactive ubiquitous applications. In LMIS@ EICS, pages 35–41, 2015.

Piero Fraternali, Giorgia Baroffio, Chiara Pasini, Luca Galli, Isabel Micheel, Jasminko Novak, and A Rizzoli. Integrating real and digital games with data analytics for water consumption behavioral change: a demo. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing, pages 408–409. IEEE Press, 2015.

Piero Fraternali, Sara Comai, Alessandro Bozzon, and Giovanni Toffetti Carughi. Engineering rich internet applications with a model-driven approach. ACM Transactions on the Web (TWEB), 4(2):7, 2010.

Piero Fraternali, Sergio Herrera, Jasminko Novak, Mark Melenhorst, Dimitrios Tzovaras, Stelios Krinidis, Andrea Emilio Rizzoli, Cristina Rottondi, and Francesca Cellina. encompass—an integrative approach to behavioural change for energy saving. In 2017 Global Internet of Things Summit (GIoTS), pages 1–6. IEEE, 2017.

Brahim Hamid and Jon Perez. Supporting pattern-based dependability engineering via model-driven development: Approach, tool-support and empirical validation. Journal of Systems and Software, 122:239–273, 2016.

P. Herzig, K. Jugel, C. Momm, M. Ameling, and A. Schill. Gaml—a modeling language for gamification. In 2013 IEEE/ACM 6th International Conference on Utility and Cloud Computing, pages 494–499, Dec 2013.

Tad Hirsch. Water wars: designing a civic game about water scarcity. In Proceedings of the Conference on Designing Interactive Systems, Aarhus, Denmark, August 16–20, 2010, pages 340–343, 2010.

Bernhard Hoisl, Stefan Sobernig, and Mark Strembeck. Modeling and enforcing secure object flows in process-driven soas: an integrated model-driven approach. Software and System Modeling, 13(2):513–548, 2014.

Kai Huotari and Juho Hamari. Defining gamification: a service marketing perspective. In International Conference on Media of the Future, Academic MindTrek '12, Tampere, Finland, October 3–5, 2012, pages 17–22, 2012.

Erik Knol and Peter W De Vries. Enercities-a serious game to stimulate sustainability and energy conservation: Preliminary results. eLearning Papers, (25), 2011.

Nora Koch, Matthias Pigerl, Gefei Zhang, and Tatiana Morozova. Patterns for the model-based development of rias. In International Conference on Web Engineering, pages 283–291. Springer, 2009.

Ksenia Koroleva, Mark Melenhorst, Jasminko Novak, Sergio Gonzalez, Piero Fraternali, and Andrea-Emilio Rizzoli. Designing an integrated socio-technical behaviour change system for energy saving. Energy Informatics, 2, 09 2019.

George E. Lee, Yongwen Xu, Robert S Brewer, and Philip M Johnson. Makahiki: An open source game engine for energy education and conservation. Department of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96822:11–07, 2012.

Amir Matallaoui, Philipp Herzig, and Rüdiger Zarnekow. Model-driven serious game development integration of the gamification modeling language gaml with unity. In 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, pages 643–651. IEEE, 2015.

Luca Morganti, Federica Pallavicini, Elena Cadel, Antonio Candelieri, Francesco Archetti, and Fabrizia Mantovani. Gaming for earth: Serious games and gamification to engage consumers in pro-environmental behaviours for energy efficiency. Energy Research & Social Science, 29:95–102, 2017.

Siobhan O'Donovan, James E. Gain, and Patrick Marais. A case study in the gamification of a university-level games development course. In 2013 South African Institute for Computer Scientists and Information Technologists, SAICSIT '13, East London, South Africa, October 7–9, 2013, pages 242–251, 2013.

OMG. Interaction flow modeling language (IFML), version 1.0.

Melanie Peham, Gert Breitfuss, and Rafael Michalczuk. The ecogator app: gamification for enhanced energy efficiency in europe. In Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality, pages 179–183. ACM, 2014.

Wolfgang Pree and Erich Gamma. Design patterns for object-oriented software development, volume 183. Addison-wesley Reading, MA, 1995.

Frank Radeke, Peter Forbrig, Ahmed Seffah, and Daniel Sinnig. Pim tool: support for pattern-driven and model-based ui development. In International Workshop on Task Models and Diagrams for User Interface Design, pages 82–96. Springer, 2006.

AE Rizzoli, A Castelleti, A Cominola, P Fraternali, A Diniz dos Santos, B Storni, R Wissmann-Alves, M Bertocchi, J Novak, and I Micheal. The smarth2o project and the role of social computing in promoting efficient residential water use: a first analysis. 2014.

James Rumbaugh, Ivar Jacobson, and Grady Booch. Unified modeling language reference manual, the. Pearson Higher Education, 2004.

Douglas C Schmidt. Model-driven engineering. COMPUTER-IEEE COMPUTER SOCIETY-, 39(2):25, 2006.

Marianna Sigala. The application and impact of gamification funware on trip planning and experiences: the case of tripadvisor's funware. Electronic Markets, 25, 01 2015.

SmartH20 Consorsium. Deliverable 7.2 validation report., 2016.

Jihed Touzi, Fréderick Benaben, Hervé Pingaud, and Jean Pierre Lorré. A model-driven approach for collaborative service-oriented architecture design. International journal of production economics, 121(1):5–20, 2009.

UrbanWater. Deliverable 5.6 – game solution for customer empowerment using water consumption data., 2015.

Uwe Zdun and Schahram Dustdar. Model-driven and pattern-based integration of process-driven soa models. International Journal of Business Process Integration and Management (IJBPIM), 2(2):109–119, 2006.

Oren Zuckerman and Ayelet Gal-Oz. Deconstructing gamification: evaluating the effectiveness of continuous measurement, virtual rewards, and social comparison for promoting physical activity. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 18(7):1705–1719, 2014.