Formalizing Liveness-Enriched Sequence Diagrams Using ASMs

  • Alessandra Cavarra
  • Juliana Küster-Filipe
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3052)


In UML 2.0 sequence diagrams have been considerably extended, influenced by Live Sequence Charts (LSCs), a very expressive extension of Message Sequence Charts (MSC) with liveness. Nonetheless, fundamental liveness properties can still not be expressed in the new sequence diagrams. In recent work, we have proposed to solve this by enriching sequence diagrams with a simple but powerful Object Constraint Language (OCL) template for liveness. In this paper, we show how to formalize our liveness-enriched sequence diagrams using Abstract State Machines.

Sequence diagrams still have several open problems. For example, the semantics of some of the newly introduced operators is ambiguous, and it is not clear how they can be used or combined with other operators. We address some of these issues in the paper.

Finally, a further advantage of using ASMs as a semantic model concerns synthesis. It is our ultimate goal to be able to synthesise automatically a state-based object system from our richer sequence diagrams. ASMs are a state-based and operational formalism which therefore eases this task considerably.


Sequence Diagram Object Constraint Language Event Occurrence Strict Order Abstract State Machine 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Börger, E., Stärk, R.: Abstract State Machines: A Method for High-Level System Design and Analysis. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bradfield, J., Küster-Filipe, J., Stevens, P.: Enriching OCL using observational mu-calculus. In: Kutsche, R.-D., Weber, H. (eds.) FASE 2002. LNCS, vol. 2306, pp. 203–217. Springer, Heidelberg (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cavarra, A., Crichton, C., Davies, J.: A method for the automatic generation of test suites from object models. Information and Software Technology 46(5), 309–314 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cavarra, A., Küster-Filipe, J.: Combining sequence diagrams and OCL for liveness. In: Proceedings of the Semantic Foundations of Engineering Design Languages (SFEDL), ETAPS 2004, Barcelona, Spain. Electronic Notes on Theoretical Computer Science (ENTCS), Elsevire Science, Amsterdam (2004) (to appear)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Damm, W., Harel, D.: LSCs: Breathing life into message sequence charts. Formal Methods in System Design 19(1), 45–80 (2001)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gurevich, Y.: Specification and validation methods. In: Börger, E. (ed.) Evolving Algebras 1993: Lipari Guide, pp. 9–36. Oxford University Press, Oxford (1995)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Harel, D., Marelly, R.: Come, Let’s Play: Scenario-based Programming Using LSCs and the Play-Engine. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Haugen, Ø., Stølen, K.: STAIRS - Steps to analyze interactions with refinement semantics. In: Stevens, P., Whittle, J., Booch, G. (eds.) UML 2003. LNCS, vol. 2863, pp. 388–402. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Krüger, I.: Capturing overlapping, triggered, and preemptive collaborations using MSCs. In: Pezzé, M. (ed.) FASE 2003. LNCS, vol. 2621, pp. 387–402. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    OMG. UML 2.0 OCL Specification, Version 1.6. OMG document ad/03-01-07 (August 2003), available from
  11. 11.
    OMG. UML 2.0 Superstructure Draft Adopted Specification. OMG document ptc/03-08-02 (August 2003), available from
  12. 12.
    ITU-TS Recommendation Z.120. Message Sequence Chart (MSC). ITU-TS, Geneva (1996)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Cavarra
    • 1
  • Juliana Küster-Filipe
    • 2
  1. 1.Computing LaboratoryOxford UniversityOxfordUK
  2. 2.Laboratory for Foundations of Computer Science, School of InformaticsUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

Personalised recommendations