Towards a Formal Account of a Foundational Subset for Executable UML Models

  • Michelle L. Crane
  • Juergen Dingel
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5301)


A current Request for Proposal [1] from the OMG describes the requirements for an “Executable UML Foundation”. This subset of UML 2 would serve as a shared foundation for higher-level modeling concepts, such as activities, state machines, and interactions. In a sense, this subset would define a basic virtual machine for UML, allowing the execution and analysis of runtime behavior of models. Regardless of the executable subset chosen, a precise definition of execution semantics of UML actions is required. To the best of our knowledge, no formal semantics of such a subset yet exists. We present our work on clarifying the semantics and pragmatics of UML actions. In particular, we sketch a formalization of a subset of UML actions and discuss common usage scenarios for the most complex actions, identifying usage assumptions that are not explicit in the UML 2 specification.


Executable UML actions activities formal mapping semantics Model-driven Engineering 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Object Management Group: Semantics of a foundational subset for executable UML models. Request for Proposal ad/2005-04-02 (April 2005)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Harel, D., Politi, M.: Modeling Reactive Systems with Statecharts: The STATEMATE Approach. McGraw-Hill, New York (1998)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Shlaer, S., Mellor, S.: Object Lifecycles: Modeling the World in States. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs (1992)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Selic, B., Gullekson, G., Ward, P.: Real-Time Object-Oriented Modeling. Wiley, Chichester (1994)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Object Management Group: Unified Modeling Language: Superstructure version 2.1. Document ptc/06-01-02 (January 2006)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rumbaugh, J., Jacobson, I., Booch, G.: The Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual, 2nd edn. Addison-Wesley, Reading (2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Broy, M., Cengarle, M., Rumpe, B.: Semantics of UML – Towards a System Model for UML: The Structural Data Model. Technical Report TUM-I0612, TUM (2006)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Broy, M., Cengarle, M., Rumpe, B.: Semantics of UML – Towards a System Model for UML: The Control Model. Technical Report TUM-I0710, TUM (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Broy, M., Cengarle, M., Rumpe, B.: Semantics of UML – Towards a System Model for UML: The State Machine Model. Technical Report TUM-I0711, TUM (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bock, C.: Re: Token/offer semantics for activities. E-mail to J. Dingel (April 25, 2008)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Störrle, H., Hausmann, J.: Towards a formal semantics of UML 2.0 activities. In: Software Engineering. LNI, vol. 64, pp. 117–128 (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schattkowsky, T., Förster, A.: On the pitfalls of UML 2 activity modeling. In: Proceedings of the International Workshop on Modeling in Software Engineering (MISE), p. 8 (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Jiang, K., Zhang, L., Miyake, S.: An executable UML with OCL-based action semantics language. In: Asia-Pacific Software Engineering Conference (APSEC), pp. 302–309 (2007)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fuentes, L., Sánchez, P.: Towards executable aspect-oriented UML models. In: 10th International Workshop on Aspect-oriented Modeling (AOM), pp. 28–34. ACM Press, New York (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sarstedt, S., Kohlmeyer, J., Raschke, A., Schneiderhan, M., Gessenharter, D.: ActiveChartsIDE. In: ECMDA 2005 (2005)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Raistrick, C., Francis, P., Wright, J., Carter, C., Wilkie, I.: Model Driven Architecture with Executable UML. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mellor, S., Balcer, M.: Executable UML: A Foundation for Model Driven Architecture. Addison-Wesley, Reading (2002)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Dotan, D., Kirshin, A.: Debugging and testing behavioral UML models. In: 22nd ACM SIGPLAN Conference on Object Oriented Programming Systems and Applications (OOPSLA), pp. 838–839. ACM Press, New York (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ober, I., Coulette, B., Gandriau, M.: Action language for the UML. In: Langages et Modèles à Objets (LMO), Hermes, pp. 277–291 (2000)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Engels, G., Soltenborn, C., Wehrheim, H.: Analysis of UML activities using dynamic meta modeling. In: Bonsangue, M.M., Johnsen, E.B. (eds.) FMOODS 2007. LNCS, vol. 4468, pp. 76–90. Springer, Heidelberg (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Eshuis, R.: Symbolic model checking of UML activity diagrams. ACM Transactions on Software Engineering and Methodology (TOSEM) 15(1), 1–38 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Object Management Group: Semantics of a foundational subset for executable UML models. Initial Submission ad/06-05-02 (May 2006)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Crane, M., Dingel, J.: Towards a UML virtual machine: Implementing an interpreter for UML 2 actions and activities. In: 2008 conference of the Centre for Advanced Studies on Collaborative research (CASCON) (to appear, 2008)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle L. Crane
    • 1
  • Juergen Dingel
    • 1
  1. 1.School of ComputingQueen’s UniversityKingstonCanada

Personalised recommendations