Non-local Choice and Beyond: Intricacies of MSC Choice Nodes

  • Arjan J. Mooij
  • Nicolae Goga
  • Judi M. T. Romijn
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3442)


MSC is a visual formalism for specifying the behavior of systems. To obtain implementations for individual processes, the MSC choice construction poses fundamental problems. The best-studied cause is non-local choice, which e.g. is unavoidable in systems with autonomous processes. In this paper we characterize two additional problematic classes of choice nodes. Based on these three classes we point out some errors in related work. Extending our work on pragmatic implementations of non-local choice, we motivate a different choice semantics which allows a little more behavior. Finally, inspired by practical case studies, we present the first implementation approach for non-local choice nodes that can handle arbitrary numbers of processes.


  1. 1.
    Baeten, J.C.M., Mauw, S.: Delayed choice: an operator for joining Message Sequence Charts. In: Formal Description Techniques, pp. 340–354 (1995)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ben-Abdallah, H., Leue, S.: Syntactic detection of process divergence and non-local choice in Message Sequence Charts. In: Brinksma, E. (ed.) TACAS 1997. LNCS, vol. 1217, pp. 259–274. Springer, Heidelberg (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brinksma, H.: Constraint-oriented specification in a constructive specification technique. In: de Bakker, J.W., de Roever, W.-P., Rozenberg, G. (eds.) REX 1989. LNCS, vol. 430, pp. 130–152. Springer, Heidelberg (1990)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Engels, A.G., Mauw, S., Reniers, M.A.: A hierarchy of communication models for message sequence charts. Science of Computer Programming 44, 253–292 (2002)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gouda, M.G., Yu, Y.T.: Synthesis of communicating finite-state machines with guaranteed progress. IEEE Transactions on Communications COM-32(7), 779–788 (1984)zbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gunter, E.L., Muscholl, A., Peled, D.A.: Compositional message sequence charts. In: Margaria, T., Yi, W. (eds.) TACAS 2001. LNCS, vol. 2031, pp. 496–511. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hëlouët, L.: Some pathological message sequence charts, and how to detect them. In: Reed, R., Reed, J. (eds.) SDL 2001. LNCS, vol. 2078, pp. 348–364. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Henriksen, J.G., Mukund, M., Narayan Kumar, K., Thiagarajan, P.S.: Towards a theory of regular MSC languages. BRICS Report RS-99-52, Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University, Denmark (1999)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Holzmann, G.J.: The model checker Spin. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 23(5), 279–295 (1997)CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    International Standards Organization. Information Processing Systems – Open Systems Interconnection – LOTOS - A Formal Description Technique Based on the Temporal Ordering of Observational Behaviour, ISO 8807:1989 (1989)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    ITU-T. Message sequence chart. Recommendation Z.120, ITU-T (2000)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Khendek, F., Robert, G., Butler, G., Grogono, P.: Implementability of message sequence charts. In: Workshop on SDL and MSC. SDL Forum Society (1998)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lohrey, M.: Realizability of high-level message sequence charts: closing the gaps. Theoretical Computer Science 309(1–3), 529–554 (2003)zbMATHCrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Madhusudan, P., Meenakshi, B.: Beyond message sequence graphs. In: Hariharan, R., Mukund, M., Vinay, V. (eds.) FSTTCS 2001. LNCS, vol. 2245, pp. 256–267. Springer, Heidelberg (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Mooij, A.J., Goga, N.: Dealing with non-local choice in IEEE 1073.2’s standard for remote control. In: Amyot, D., Williams, A.W. (eds.) SAM 2004, vol. 3319, pp. 257–270. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Muccini, H.: Detecting implied scenarios analyzing non-local branching choices. In: Pezzé, M. (ed.) FASE 2003. LNCS, vol. 2621, pp. 372–386. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Reniers, M.A.: Message Sequence Chart: Syntax and Semantics. PhD thesis, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (June 1999)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Uchitel, S.: Incremental Elaboration of Scenario-Based Specifications and Behaviour Models Using Implied Scenarios. PhD thesis, Faculty of Engineering of the University of London (February 2003)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Uchitel, S., Kramer, J., Magee, J.: Detecting implied scenarios in message sequence chart specifications. In: Proceedings of the 8th European software engineering conference, pp. 74–82. ACM Press, New York (2001)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Uchitel, S., Kramer, J., Magee, J.: Synthesis of behavioral models from scenarios. IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering 29(2), 99–115 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arjan J. Mooij
    • 1
  • Nicolae Goga
    • 1
  • Judi M. T. Romijn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mathematics and Computer ScienceTechnische Universiteit EindhovenEindhovenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations