Meta-Modelling Semantics of UML

  • Andy Evans
  • Robert France
  • Kevin Lano
  • Bernhard Rumpe
Part of the The Springer International Series in Engineering and Computer Science book series (SECS, volume 523)


The Unified Modelling Language is emerging as a de-facto standard for modelling object-oriented systems. However, the semantics document that a part of the standard definition primarily provides a description of the language’s syntax and well-formedness rules. The meaning of the language, which is mainly described in English, is too informal and unstructured to provide a foundation for developing formal analysis and development techniques. This paper outlines a formalisation strategy for making precise the core semantics of UML. This is achieved by strengthening the denotational semantics of the existing UML metamodel. To illustrate the approach, the semantics of generalization/specialization are made precise.


Unify Modeling Language Object Constraint Language Abstract Syntax Denotational Semantic Unify Modeling Language Model 
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. [BFG+93]
    M. Broy, C. Facchi, R. Grosu, R. Hettler, H. Huβmann, D. Nazareth, F. Regensburger, O. Slotosch, and K. Stølen. The Requirement and Design Specification Language SPECTRUM, An Informal Introduction, Version 1.0, Part 1. Technical Report TUM-I9312, Technische Universität München, 1993.Google Scholar
  2. [BHH+97]
    Ruth Breu, Ursula Hinkel, Christoph Hofmann, Cornel Klein, Barbara Paech, Bernhard Rumpe, and Veronika Thurner. Towards a formalization of the unified modeling language. In Satoshi Matsuoka Mehmet Aksit, editor, ECOOP’97 Proceedings. Springer Verlag, LNCS 1241, 1997.Google Scholar
  3. [BR98]
    J-M. Bruel and R.B. France. Transforming UML models to formal specifications. In UML’98-Beyond the notation, LNCS 1618. Springer-Verlag, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. [BRJ98]
    G. Booch, J. Rumbaugh, and I. Jacobson. The Unified Modeling Language User Guide. Addison-Wesley, 1998.Google Scholar
  5. [EFLR98]
    Andy Evans, Robert France, Kevin Lano, and Bernhard Rumpe. Developing the UML as a formal modelling notation. In Jean Bezivin and Pierre-Allain Muller, editors, UML’98 Proceedings. Springer-Verlag, LNCS 1618, 1998.Google Scholar
  6. [E98]
    A. S. Evans. Reasoning with UML class diagrams. In WIFT’98. IEEE Press, 1998.Google Scholar
  7. [FELR98]
    R. France, A. Evans, K. Lano, and B. Rumpe. The UML as a formal modeling notation. Computer Standards & Interfaces, 19,1998.Google Scholar
  8. [OMG99]
    Object Management Group. OMG Unified Modeling Language Specification, version 1.3r2. found at: 1999.
  9. [PUML99]
    The pUML Group. The precise UML web site: 1999.Google Scholar
  10. [RJB99]
    J. Rumbaugh, I. Jacobson, and G. Booch. The Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual. Addison-Wesley, 1999.Google Scholar
  11. [S86]D.
    A. Schmidt. Denotational Semantics: A Methodology for Language Development. Allyn and Bacon, 1986.Google Scholar
  12. [S92]
    J.M. Spivey. The Z Reference Manual, 2nd Edition. Prentice Hall, 1992.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andy Evans
    • 1
  • Robert France
    • 2
  • Kevin Lano
    • 3
  • Bernhard Rumpe
    • 4
  1. 1.University of YorkUK
  2. 2.Colorado State UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Imperial CollegeUK
  4. 4.Munich University of TechnologyGermany

Personalised recommendations