Hello! I am Sahar Kokaly

I am a Researcher at General Motors and a Research Assistant and PhD Candidate in the Department of Computing and Software at McMaster University . I am co-supervised by Tom Maibaum (McMaster Centre for Software Certification) and Marsha Chechik (University of Toronto). .

Previously, I was a Research Engineer on NECSIS (Network for the Engineering of Complex Software Intensive Systems), a joint collaboration between IBM, GM, Malina Software and numerous Canadian universities. I am also a former IBMer and an advocate for increasing female participation in STEM.


My current research is broadly in the area of Model-Driven Engineering. I focus on the topics of model management, megamodeling, and applications of model driven engineering in industry, most recently in the context of ISO 26262 safety compliance.


Safety Case Impact Assessment in Automotive Software Systems: An Improved Model-Based Approach.
Sahar Kokaly, Rick Salay, Marsha Chechik, Mark Lawford, Tom Maibaum
SafeComp'17 (submitted)

Managing Assurance Cases in Model Based Software Systems.
Sahar Kokaly
ICSE'17 Doctoral Symposium (26.9% accept. rate). Buenos Aires, Argentina (to appear)

Heterogenous Megamodel Slicing for Model Evolution.
Rick Salay, Sahar Kokaly, Marsha Chechik, Tom Maibaum
Models and Evolution (ME) workshop at MODELS'16. (slides)

A Model Management Approach for Assurance Case Reuse due to System Evolution.
Sahar Kokaly, Rick Salay, Valentin Cassano, Tom Maibaum, Marsha Chechik
MODELS'16 Foundations Track (23.7% accept. rate) (slides)

Model Management for Regulatory Compliance: a position paper.
Sahar Kokaly, Rick Salay, Mehrdad Sabetzadeh, Marsha Chechik, Tom Maibaum
MiSE'16 at ICSE'16. (slides)

Enriching Megamodel Management with Collection-Based Operators.
Rick Salay, Sahar Kokaly, Alessio Di Sandro, Marsha Chechik

Elementary Model Management Patterns.
Sahar Kokaly, Zinovy Diskin, Tom Maibaum, Hamid Gholizadeh
PAME'15 at STAF'15

Analysis of Source-to-Target Model Transformations in QueST.
Hamid Gholizadeh, Zinovy Diskin, Sahar Kokaly, Tom Maibaum
AMT'15 at MODELS'15

MMINT: A Graphical Tool for Interactive Model Management.
Alessio Di Sandro, Rick Salay, Michalis Famelis, Sahar Kokaly, Marsha Chechik
Demo Track at MODELS'15

Towards a Structured Workflow Language for Model Management.
Sahar Kokaly
Doctoral Symposium at MODELS'14

Mapping-Aware Megamodeling: Design Patterns and Laws.
Zinovy Diskin, Sahar Kokaly, Tom Maibaum

Design and Implementation of a Vibration Analysis Tool.
Sahar Abughannam
Masters Thesis, McMaster University, Sep 2008.

Professional Activities

  • Program Committee Member, Grand Challenges in Modeling 2017 Workshop, co-located with the STAF conference, Marburg, Germany, July 2017
  • Industry Session Co-Chair, Grand Challenges of Traceability Meeting 2017, Slade, Kentucky
  • Organizing Committee Member (Workshops Co-Chair) MODELS'17 (Austin, Texas)
  • Judging Committee member for Student Research Competition at MODELS 2017
  • Panelist "User Experience for Model Based Software Engineering" Panel. MODELS'16 (Saint Malo, France)
  • Advisory Board Member for McMaster University Computing and Software Outreach Program
  • Organizing Committee Member (Social Media Co-Chair) MODELS'15 (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Organizing Committee/PC Chair MPM 2014 at MODELS'14 (Valencia, Spain)
  • Organizing Committee/PC Chair AMT 2015 at MODELS'15 (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Organizing Committee/PC Chair MPM 2015 at MODELS'15 (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Program Committee Member - Doctoral Symposium at MODELS'15 (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Reviewer for: Empirical Software Engineering Journal, Software & Systems Modeling Journal, IEEE Software
  • Sub-reviewer for MODELS’14, SLE’15, ASE'16
  • Interview committee for new faculty member in CAS - March 2014
  • Member of Chair hiring committee - McMaster University, Department of Computing and Software 2006
  • Member of MARC Joint Health and Safety Committee 2014
  • Graduate Council - Faculty of Engineering Student Representative September 2006/2007
  • Volunteer for Gr8 Designs for Gr8 Girls program at McMaster University- May 2010 (while at IBM)


2012 - Current: Ph.D. Software Engineering (part-time), McMaster University, Canada
2006 - 2008: M.A.Sc. Software Engineering, McMaster University, Canada
2002 - 2006: B.Eng. Software Engineering, McMaster University, Canada

Graduate Level Courses Completed

  • CAS 701: Logic and Discrete Mathematics
  • CAS 702: Data Structures and Algorithms
  • CAS 753: Specifying, Implementing and Verifying Timing Behaviours for Hard Real-Time Systems
  • CAS 704: Real-Time Software Systems
  • CAS 781: Advanced Topics - Category Theory
  • CAS 780: Reading Course: Introduction to Model Driven Engineering
  • CAS 764: Advanced Topics in Data Management
  • CAS 703: Software Design

Courses Taught

CAS 756: Advanced Topics in Formal Methods and Software Architecture
Co-instructors: Dr. Tom Maibaum and Dr. Zinovy Diskin - Winter 2015.

Connect with me by