The literature on formal semantics for UML is huge and growing rapidly. Most contributions open with a brief remark motivating the work, then quickly move on to the technical detail. How do we decide whether more rigorous semantics are needed? Do we currently have an adequate definition of the syntax? How do we evaluate proposals to improve the definition? We provide criteria by which these and other questions can be answered. The growing role of UML is examined. We compare formal language definition techniques with those currently used in the definition of UML. We study this definition for both its content and form, and conclude that improvements are required. Finally, we briefly survey the UML formalisation literature, applying our criteria to determine which of the existing approaches show the most potential.


Model Transformation Class Diagram Formal Semantic Object Constraint Language Graph Transformation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Greg O’Keefe
    • 1
  1. 1.Research School of Information Science and EngineeringAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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