Efficient analysis of pattern-based constraint specifications

Abstract

Precision and consistency are important prerequisites for class models to conform to their intended domain semantics. Precision can be achieved by augmenting models with design constraints and consistency can be achieved by avoiding contradictory constraints. However, there are different views of what constitutes a contradiction for design constraints. Moreover, state-of-the-art analysis approaches for proving constrained models consistent either scale poorly or require the use of interactive theorem proving. In this paper, we present a heuristic approach for efficiently analyzing constraint specifications built from constraint patterns. This analysis is based on precise notions of consistency for constrained class models and exploits the semantic properties of constraint patterns, thereby enabling syntax-based consistency checking in polynomial-time. We introduce a consistency checker implementing these ideas and we report on case studies in applying our approach to analyze industrial-scale models. These studies show that pattern-based constraint development supports the creation of concise specifications and provides immediate feedback on model consistency.

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Correspondence to Michael Wahler.

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Communicated by Dr. Alessandra Cavarra.

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Wahler, M., Basin, D., Brucker, A.D. et al. Efficient analysis of pattern-based constraint specifications. Softw Syst Model 9, 225–255 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10270-009-0123-6

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Keywords

  • UML
  • OCL
  • Constraints
  • Patterns
  • Consistency