Abstract operational semantics for use case maps

Jameleddine Hassine*, Juergen Rilling, Rachida Dssouli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Scenario-driven requirement specifications are widely used to capture and represent functional requirements. Use Case Maps (UCM) is being standardized as part of the User Requirements Notation (URN), the most recent addition to ITU-T's family of languages. UCM models allow the description of functional requirements and high-level designs at early stages of the development process. Recognizing the importance of having a well defined semantic, we propose, in this paper, a concise and rigorous formal semantics for Use Case Maps (UCM). The proposed formal semantics addresses UCM's operational semantics and covers the key language functional constructs. These semantics are defined in terms of Multi-Agent Abstract State Machines that describes how UCM specifications are executed and eliminates ambiguities hidden in the informal language definition. The resulting operational semantics are embedded in an ASM-UCM simulation engine and are expressed in AsmL, an advanced ASM-based executable specification language. The proposed ASM-UCM engine provides an environment for executing and simulating UCM specifications. We illustrate our approach using an example of a simplified call connection.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFormal Techniques for Networked and Distributed Systems - FORTE 2005 - 25th IFIP WG 6.1 International Conference, Proceedings
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume3731 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


  • Abstract state machines
  • AsmL
  • Formal semantics
  • Simulation
  • Use Case Maps
  • User requirements notation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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