Reification — Changing viewpoint but preserving truth

  • G. Denker
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1130)


The aim of our work is the modelling and design of information systems in the object-oriented setting. An object-oriented specification covers structural as well as behavioural aspects of the system. A possibility to describe system dynamics is to use a temporal logic as it is done in the formal object-oriented specification language Troll. Temporal logics is particularly suited to deal with temporal behaviour and evolutionary aspects of systems.

Reification techniques have been developed to break down the software design process in pieces with reduced complexity. We support action reification, i.e., actions are reified by complex processes or so-called transactions. Thus, reification corresponds to a change of viewpoint: what has been atomic from the abstract point of view may become compound from the reified point of view. Problems arise when reification is considered in conjunction with temporal logic. Temporal formulae which incorporate action symbols have to be treated carefully under the presence of reification.

In this paper we propose the so-called reification logic by extending a linear temporal logic by the concept of transaction. A transaction is a logical unit of a specific abstraction level which is composed of several actions of a more concrete level. We propose an appropriate translation of Troll concepts in reification logic which is compatible with reification. This way, we establish a framework which has the capability to deal with reification in object-oriented specification.


object orientation formal specification language information system design reification temporal logic action refinement transaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Denker
    • 1
  1. 1.Technische Universität Braunschweig, Informatik, Abt. DatenbankenBraunschweigGermany

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