Assert and negate revisited: Modal semantics for UML sequence diagrams

David Harel, Shahar Maoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Live Sequence Charts (LSC) extend Message Sequence Charts (MSC), mainly by distinguishing possible from necessary behavior. They thus enable the specification of rich multi-modal scenario-based properties, such as mandatory, possible and forbidden scenarios. The sequence diagrams of UML 2.0 enrich those of previous versions of UML by two new operators, assert and negate, for specifying required and forbidden behaviors, which appear to have been inspired by LSC. The UML 2.0 semantics of sequence diagrams, however, being based on pairs of valid and invalid sets of traces, is inadequate, and prevents the new operators from being used effectively. We propose an extension of, and a different semanticsfor this UML language - Modal Sequence Diagrams (MSD ) - based on the universal/ existential modal semantics of LSC. In particular, in MSD assert and negate are really modalities, not operators. We define MSD as a UML 2.0 profile, thus paving the way to apply formal verification, synthesis, and scenario-based execution techniques from LSC to the mainstream UML standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-252
Number of pages16
JournalSoftware and Systems Modeling
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Formal semantics
  • Livesequence charts
  • Sequence diagrams
  • Standardization
  • UML Interactions

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Assert and negate revisited: Modal semantics for UML sequence diagrams'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this