, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 489-514
Date: 11 Apr 2010

The many meanings of UML 2 Sequence Diagrams: a survey

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Scenario languages are widely used in software development. Typical usage scenarios, forbidden behaviors, test cases, and many more aspects can be depicted with graphical scenarios. Scenario languages were introduced into the Unified Modeling Language (UML) under the name of Sequence Diagrams. The 2.0 version of UML changed Sequence Diagrams significantly and the expressiveness of the language was highly increased. However, the complexity of the language (and the diversity of the goals Sequence Diagrams are used for) yields several possible choices in its semantics. This paper collects and categorizes the semantic choices in the language, surveys the formal semantics proposed for Sequence Diagrams, and presents how these approaches handle the various semantic choices.

Communicated by Dr. Oystein Haugen.
This work was partially supported by the ReSIST Network of Excellence (IST 026764) funded by the European Union under the Information Society Sixth Framework Programme.