Polymorphic scenario-based specification models: Semantics and applications

Shahar Maoz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present polymorphic scenarios, a generalization of a UML2-compliant variant of Damm and Harel's live sequence charts (LSC) in the context of object-orientation. Polymorphic scenarios are visualized using (modal) sequence diagrams where lifelines may represent classes and interfaces rather than concrete objects. Their semantics takes advantage of inheritance and interface realization to allow the specification of most expressive, succinct, and reusable universal and existential inter-object scenarios for object-oriented system models. We motivate the use of polymorphic scenarios, formally define their trace-based semantics, and present their application for scenario-based testing and execution, as implemented in the S2A compiler developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science. We further discuss advanced semantic issues arising from the use of scenarios in a polymorphic setting, suggest possible extensions, present a UML profile to support polymorphic scenarios, consider the application of the polymorphic semantics to other variants of scenario-based specification languages, and position our work in the broader context of behavioral subtyping.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-345
Number of pages19
JournalSoftware and Systems Modeling
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral subtyping
  • Live sequence charts
  • Polymorphism
  • Scenario-based modeling
  • Sequence diagrams
  • UML interactions


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