From the PhD thesis Diagram Predicate Framework meets Model Versioning and Deep Metamodelling, defended on the 7th December 2011:
The last four years of my life have been dedicated to writing this thesis and to making it as perfect as possible. These years have witnessed days and nights of hard work, discussion, stress, frustration, anguish, insomnia, as well as praise, relief, travelling and fun.
If you are going to read this thesis, I hope that you will find it interesting. If you are just going to browse through it quickly, I hope that you will find the models as beautiful as I do. If you are only interested in this preface, I hope it will leave you with a nice memory.
Bergen, 3rd October 2011
This thesis would not have been possible without the contribution of the outstanding individuals I have met during these four years.
First of all, I would like to thank my supervisor Uwe Wolter, for teaching me a lot of interesting knowledge which spans from mathematics to philosophy and history, as well as for giving me invaluable feedback about my research. He deserves much of the credit for this thesis, and I am indebted to him for all his help and inspiration, scientifically and otherwise. I would also like to thank my co-supervisor Khalid A. Mughal, for suggesting that I enrol in a PhD programme and for supporting all my choices when I finally followed his suggestion. With time I realised that his initiative saved me from becoming a frustrated software engineer.
A special thanks goes to Adrian Rutle, for helping me to get started with my research and for sharing many good times with me, both in Bergen and while travelling. He has been a brilliant colleague and a good friend, and I have many good memories from these years.
I am grateful to my parents Pompilio and Loretta, for all they have done for me, especially for setting my life on what I believe is the right path. I hope that this thesis will make them as proud of me as I am of them.
“Tusen takk” to Synnøve Solberg Tokerud, for her love and friendship, for teaching me about Norwegian and Norway, as well as for her beautiful smile which always helped me to stay positive.
The Department of Informatics at the University of Bergen has given me a private office, a good salary and great financial support, and I am thankful for that. I would like to thank the Programming Theory group, especially Marc Bezem, Torill Hamre, Anya Helene Bagge, Valentin David, Dag Hovland and Federico Mancini, for creating a stimulating environment to work in, for all the chats about informatics and teaching, for all the empirical studies on espresso and on chocolate spreads, as well as for all the feedback they gave me about my work. I am also grateful to the administration of the Department of Informatics, especially Ida Holen, for patiently listening to my rants every time I needed to vent my frustration, Petter Bjørstad and Torleiv Kløve, for supporting my stays abroad, and Steinar Heldal, for guiding me through the bureaucracy of the University.
My research was carried out in cooperation with fellow researchers from the Department of Computer Engineering at the Bergen University College. Thanks to Yngve Lamo, for his suggestions about how to deal with the Norwegian system, and Florian Mantz, for being an excellent flatmate and for preparing pancakes every Sunday.
Part of this thesis was written during my 4-month stay at the Department of Computer Engineering at the Autonomous University of Madrid. “Muchas gracias” to Juan de Lara and Esther Guerra, for taking care of me during my stay and for giving me plenty of insights which ended up being almost half of this thesis.
I would like to thank my opponents Reiko Heckel and Einar Broch Johnsen, for all the time they have spent reviewing this work, and Michal Walicki, for coordinating the committee. I am also grateful to all my fellow researchers and anonymous reviewers who pointed out flaws and suggested possible improvements in my research.
Despite all the time spent preparing this thesis rather than hanging out, I still have many friends left, and they should all be awarded for their patience. In Bergen, Mikal Carlsen Østensen helped me with practically everything before and after my move to Norway. Diego Fiore has been one of my closest friends, who shared countless discussions about the grotesque society we live in with me and was a perfect companion on many suffocating trips around the world. Paolo Angelelli has also been a very good friend, who contributed a lot to the discussion about how to develop an ideal society. My stay in Madrid would not have been the same without Lucia Cammalleri, Teresa Terrana and Daniele Sidoti, who treated me like a close friend since the first day we met. In Italy, my good, old friends Maura Brandimarte, Albert Marsili, Marino Di Carlo, Graziano Liberati and Angelo Di Saverio have been there every time I was back home, and I really appreciate it.
Finally, this thesis would not have reached this level of art without the free and open source software I use and enjoy. A special thanks goes to the communities behind GNU, Linux, KDE, Firefox, Kile, Inkscape, Subversion and Git.