Deciding properties for message sequence charts

  • Anca Muscholl
  • Doron Peled
  • Zhendong Su
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1378)


Message sequence charts (MSC) are commonly used in designing communication systems. They allow describing the communication skeleton of a system and can be used for finding design errors. First, a specification formalism that is based on MSC graphs, combining finite message sequence charts, is presented. We present then an automatic validation algorithm for systems described using the message sequence charts notation. The validation problem is tightly related to a natural language-theoretic problem over semi-traces (a generalization of Mazurkiewicz traces, which represent partially ordered executions). We show that a similar and natural decision problem is undecidable.


  1. 1.
    R. Alur, G. Holzmann, and D. Peled. An analyzer for message sequence charts. Software Concepts and Tools, 17(2):70–77, 1996.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. Ben-Abdallah and S. Leue. Syntactic detection of process divergence and non-local choice in message sequence charts. In E. Brinksma, editor, Proceedings of the Tools and Algorithms for the Construction and Analysis of Systems, Third International Workshop, TACAS'97, number 1217 in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 259–274, Enschede, The Netherlands, 1997. Springer.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    J. Berstel. Transductions and context-free languages. Teubner Studienbücher, Stuttgart, 1979.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M. Clerbout and M. Latteux. Partial commutations and faithful rational transductions. Theoretical Computer Science, 34:241–254, 1984.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    V. Diekert and G. Rozenberg, editors. The Book of Traces. World Scientific, Singapore, 1995.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Feigenbaum, J. Kahn, and C. Lund. Complexity results for pomset languages. SIAM Journal Disc. Math., 6(3):432–442, 1993.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    ITU-T Recommendation Z.120, Message Sequence Chart (MSC), March 1993.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    V. Levin and D. Peled. Verification of message sequence charts via template matching. In TAPSOFT (FASE)'97, Theory and Practice of Software Development, volume 1214 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 652–666, Lille, France, 1997. Springer.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    M. Nielsen, G. Plotkin, and G. Winskel. Petri nets, event structures and domains, part 1. Theoretical Computer Science, 13:85–108, 1981.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    J.-E. Pin. Syntactic semigroups. In G. Rozenberg and A. Salomaa, editors, Handbook of Formal Languages, volume 1, pages 679–738. Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg-New York, 1997.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    V. R. Pratt. Modelling concurrency with partial orders. International Journal of Parallel Programming, 15(1):33–71, 1986.MATHMathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anca Muscholl
    • 1
  • Doron Peled
    • 2
    • 3
  • Zhendong Su
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut für InformatikUniversität StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  2. 2.Bell LaboratoriesLucent TechnologiesMurray Hill
  3. 3.School of Computer ScienceCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  4. 4.EECS DepartmentUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations