On tracing reactive systems

Shahar Maoz*, David Harel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We present a rich and highly dynamic technique for analyzing, visualizing, and exploring the execution traces of reactive systems. The two inputs are a designer's inter-object scenario-based behavioral model, visually described using a UML2-compliant dialect of live sequence charts (LSC), and an execution trace of the system. Our method allows one to visualize, navigate through, and explore, the activation and progress of the scenarios as they "come to life" during execution. Thus, a concrete system's runtime is recorded and viewed through abstractions provided by behavioral models used for its design, tying the visualization and exploration of system execution traces to model-driven engineering. We support both event-based and real-time-based tracing, and use details-on-demand mechanisms, multi-scaling grids, and gradient coloring methods. Novel model exploration techniques include semantics-based navigation, filtering, and trace comparison. The ideas are implemented and tested in a prototype tool called the Tracer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-468
Number of pages22
JournalSoftware and Systems Modeling
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
John von Neumann Minerva Center for the Development of Reactive Systems
Seventh Framework Programme227631
European Research Council
Weizmann Institute of Science


    • Dynamic analysis
    • Live sequence charts
    • Model-based traces
    • Sequence diagrams
    • Software visualization
    • UML interactions


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