Advertisement

Towards Ontologically Based Semantics for UML Constructs

  • Joerg Evermann
  • Yair Wand
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2224)

Abstract

Conceptual models are formal descriptions of application domains that are used in early stages of system development to support requirements analysis.

The Unified Modeling Language was formed by integrating several diagramming techniques for the purpose of software specification, design, construction and maintenance. It would be advantageous to use the same modeling method throughout the development process of an information system, namely, to extend the use of UML to conceptual modeling. This would require assigning well-defined, real-world meaning to UML constructs.

In order to model the real-world, we need to specify what might exist in the world, namely, an ontology. We suggest that by mapping UML constructs to well-defined ontological concepts, we can form clear semantics for UML diagrams. Furthermore, based on the mapping we can suggest ontologically-based intra- and inter-diagram integrity rules to guide the construction of conceptual models.

In this paper we describe the results we obtained by mapping UML constructs to a specific well-formalized ontological model. In particular, we discuss the ontological meaning of objects, classes, and of interactions.

Keywords

Natural Kind Class Diagram Sequence Diagram Ontological Model Ontological Concept 
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.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bezivin, J. and Muller, P. (1999). UML: The Birth and Rise of a Standard Modeling Notation. In The Unified Modeling Language UML’98: Beyond the notation, First International Workshop, Mulhouse, France, June 1998.Google Scholar
  2. Bodart, F. and Weber, R. (1996). Optional Properties Versus Subtyping in Conceptual Modeling: A Theory and Empirical Test. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, Dec. 16–18, 1996, page 450.Google Scholar
  3. Booch, G. (1994). Object Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications. Benjamin/ Cummings, Redwood City,CA.Google Scholar
  4. Bunge, M. A. (1977). Ontology I: The Furniture of the World, Volume 3 of Treatise on Basic Philosophy. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland.Google Scholar
  5. Bunge, M. A. (1979). Ontology II: A World of Systems, Volume 4 of Treatise on Basic Philosophy. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland.Google Scholar
  6. Coad, P. and Yourdon, E. (1990). Object-Oriented Analysis. Yourdon Press, Englewood Cliffs,N J.Google Scholar
  7. Evans, A., France, R., Lano, K., and Rumpe, B. (1999). The UML as a Formal Modeling Notation. In The Unified Modeling Language UML’98: Beyond the notation, First International Workshop, Mulhouse, France, June 1998.Google Scholar
  8. Gemino, A. (1999). Empirical Comparisons of Systems Analysis Modeling Techniques. Ph.D. thesis, University of British Columbia, Canada.Google Scholar
  9. Green, P. and Rosemann, M. (2000). Ontological Analysis of Integrated Process Modelling. Information Systems, 25(2),73–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Harel, D. (1988). On Visual Formalisms. Communications of the ACM, 31(5), 514–530.CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  11. Harel, D. and Gery, E. (1996). Executable Object Modeling with Statecharts. In Proceedings of the 18th Intarnational Conference on Software Engineering, 25–30 March 1996, TU Berlin, Germany (ICSE-18), pages 246–256.Google Scholar
  12. Jacobson, I., Christerson, M., Jonsson, P., and Övergaard, G. (1992). Object-Oriented Software Engineering: A Use Case Driven Approach. Addison-Wesley, Wokingham.zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  13. Knapp, A. (1999). A Formal Semantics for UML Interactions. In UML’99 The Unified Modeling Language — Beyond the Standard: Second International Workshop, Fort Collins, CO, October 28–30, 1999, pages 116–130.Google Scholar
  14. Lano, K. and Bicarregui, J. (1999). Semantics and Transformations for UML Models. In The Unified Modeling Language UML’98: Beyond the notation, First International Workshop, Mulhouse, France, June 1998, pages 107–119.Google Scholar
  15. Lilius, J. and Paltor, I. (1999). Formalising UML State Machines for Model Checking. In UML’99 The Unified Modeling Language — Beyond the Standard: Second International Workshop, Fort Collins, CO, October 28–30, 1999, pages 430–445.Google Scholar
  16. Mylopoulos, J. (1992). Conceptual Modeling and Telos. In P. Locuopoulos and R. Zicari,editors, Conceptual Modeling, Databases and Cases. John Wiley & Sons,Inc., New York et. al.Google Scholar
  17. OMG (1999). The Unified Modelling Language Specification. Version 1.3. OMG.Google Scholar
  18. OMG (2000). UML 2.0 Superstructure RFP. OMG.Google Scholar
  19. Opdahl, A. and Henderson-Sellers, B. (1999). Evaluating and Improving OO Modelling Languages Using the BWW-Model. In Proceedings of the Information Systems Foundation Workshop: Ontology, Semiotics and Practice 1999, Macquarie University, Sidney/Australia, 1999. http://www.comp.mq.edu.au/isf99/Opdahl.htm.
  20. Opdahl, A. and Sindre, G. (1993). Concepts for Real-World Modelling. In Advanced Information Systems Engineering — 5th International Conference CAiSE’93, Paris/France, June 1993, pages 309–327.Google Scholar
  21. Opdahl, A., Henderson-Sellers, B., and Barbier, F. (1999). An Ontological Evaluation of the OML Metamodel. In E. D. Falkenberg and K. Lyytinen, editors, Information System Concepts: An Integrated Discipline Emerging. IFIP/Kluwer.Google Scholar
  22. Övergaard, G. (1999). A Formal Approach to Collaborations in the Unified Modeling Language. In UML’99 The Unified Modeling Language — Beyond the Standard: Second International Workshop, Fort Collins, CO, October 28–30, 1999, pages 99–115.Google Scholar
  23. Övergaard, G. and Palmkvist, K. (1999). A Formal Approach to Use Cases and Their Relationships. In The Unified Modeling Language UML’98: Beyond the notation, First International Workshop, Mulhouse, France,June 1998, pages 406–418.Google Scholar
  24. Parsons, J. and Wand, Y. (1997). Using Objects for Systems Analysis. Communications of the ACM, 40(12),104–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rumbaugh, J. and Blaha, S. (1991). Object Oriented Modeling and Design. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  26. Wand, Y. (1989). A Proposal for a Formal Model of Objects. In W. Kim and F. Lchovsky,editors, Object-Oriented Concepts, Languages, Applications and Databases, pages 537–559. ACM Press. Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  27. Wand, Y. and Weber, R. (1989). An Ontological Evaluation of Systems Analysis and Design Methods. In E. Falkenberg and P. Lingreen,editors, Information System Concepts: An In-Depth Analysis. Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., North-Holland.Google Scholar
  28. Wand, Y. and Weber, R. (1990). Mario Bunge’s Ontology as a Formal Foundation for Information Systems Concepts. In P. Weingartner and G. Dorn, editors, Studies on Mario Bunge’s Treatise. Rodopi, Atlanta.Google Scholar
  29. Wand, Y. and Weber, R. (1993). On the Ontological Expressiveness of Information Systems Analysis and Design Grammars. Journal of Information Systems, (3),217–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wand, Y., Storey, V. C., and Weber, R. (1999). An Ontological Analysis of the Relationship Construct in Conceptual Modeling. ACM Transactions on Database Systems, 24(4),494–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Weber, R. and Zhang, Y. (1996). An Analytical Evaluation of NIAM’s Grammar for Conceptual Schema Diagrams. Information Systems Journal, 6(2),147–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joerg Evermann
    • 1
  • Yair Wand
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Commerce and Business AdministrationThe University of British ColumbiaColumbia

Personalised recommendations