Automated Software Engineering

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 293–340 | Cite as

Graphical scenarios for specifying temporal properties: an automated approach

  • M. AutiliEmail author
  • P. Inverardi
  • P. Pelliccione


Temporal logics are commonly used for reasoning about concurrent systems. Model checkers and other finite-state verification techniques allow for automated checking of system model compliance to given temporal properties. These properties are typically specified as linear-time formulae in temporal logics. Unfortunately, the level of inherent sophistication required by these formalisms too often represents an impediment to move these techniques from “research theory” to “industry practice”. The objective of this work is to facilitate the nontrivial and error prone task of specifying, correctly and without expertise in temporal logic, temporal properties.

In order to understand the basis of a simple but expressive formalism for specifying temporal properties we critically analyze commonly used in practice visual notations. Then we present a scenario-based visual language called Property Sequence Chart (PSC) that, in our opinion, fixes the highlighted lacks of these notations by extending a subset of UML 2.0 Interaction Sequence Diagrams. We also provide PSC with both denotational and operational semantics. The operational semantics is obtained via translation into Büchi automata and the translation algorithm is implemented as a plugin of our Charmy tool. Expressiveness of PSC has been validated with respect to well known property specification patterns.


Scenario based notation System requirements specification Temporal properties specification 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di InformaticaUniversity of L’AquilaL’AquilaItaly

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