ECOOP'2000 Workshop on

Defining Precise Semantics for UML

(Call for Participation)

Sophia Antipolis, 12th June 2000

Organised by pUML -


The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is the OMG (Object Management Group) standard modeling language for specifying and designing complex software systems. The high quality experiences embedded in the UML certainly makes its application to complex systems desirable, but the lack of precise semantics can limit its effectiveness.

The modeling of complex systems requires the use of modeling constructs that provide complexity management mechanisms and that allow early detection of errors in requirements and designs. The separation of views principle has proven to be an effective means of controlling complexity, and is well-supported by the UML. However, the formality and rigour principle that facilitates the detection of errors in requirements and designs is not well-supported in the UML. Developing a precise, complete, and understandable semantics for UML that enables practical, tool-supported rigorous analysis of UML models can enhance its applicability to the modeling of complex systems. A formal analysis of the semantic foundations of the UML notations can lead to more precise and complete natural language descriptions of the notations in the UML standard. The insights provided by a well-formulated description of the UML semantics can help modelers choose appropriately among a variety of modeling constructs.

The purpose of the proposed workshop is to bring together researchers and practitioners from academia and industry to report on their experiences with developing precise semantics for the UML. This one-day workshop will be the 4th of a successful series on strengthening the UML semantic foundation. Presentations and discussions will focus on identifying the challenges, recognizing limitations, and analyzing proposed semantics for the UML. The results of these discussions are being collected in the pUML FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) document. The FAQ will provide answers to questions, clarifying the role and need for precise semantics, the different approaches that can be taken, and highlight key problems.

The workshop is organised by the precise UML group (pUML). It is the fourth of a series begun at OOPSLA'98.


The pUML (precise UML) group was established two years ago as a loose consortium of academics and consultants to coordinate work on improving the precision of UML, both in its definition and its use. Semantics is clearly a area which needs attention in this context. See for details and current list of members.


Position papers should describe UML related work in one of the following areas:

Review process

The review process will be as follows:
  1. The deadline for receiving position papers is March 24, 2000. Workshop submissions should be 5-10 pages long (single-spaced, no smaller than 10pt font). Submissions (in postscript or pdf) should be sent to
  2. A committee (pUML members) will review submissions and select papers that present relevant and interesting ideas and concepts that can contribute to the workshop. Authors will be notified of the review results by the early April.
  3. The committee will set up working groups (with a leader), based on the submissions.
  4. Discussions through the internet (pUML list and web site) will be carried out in forums corresponding to the groups, and authors will be free to participate in any forum.
  5. Each group will have to produce a full report on their discussions by late May.
  6. The reports will have to be available one month before the workshop. They will be debated and discussed during the workshop.


Attendance at the workshop will be based on invitation. Participants that would like to be invited are asked to (1) write a position paper in one of the topics above and (2) participate in the group discussions that will occur before the workshop.

Workshop organization

8h30 - 8h45
Opening Remarks
8h45 - 10h15
Session 1 
Invited talks
10h15 - 10h30
Coffee break
Session 2 
Questions and discussions within working groups
12h00 - 13h00
13h00 - 15h30
Session 3 
Questions and discussions within working groups
15h30 - 16h00
Coffee break
16h00 - 17h00
Session 4 
Summary, final discussion and closing remarks

Expected results

Three main results are expected:
  1. The group reports will be published as a technical report and will be available at the workshop
  2. The organizers will produce a full report describing the workshop results for the ECOOP'2000 Workshops Reader

  3. The existing UML semantics FAQ document will be updated with the main results concerning key questions/answers addressed during the workshop
Organizing committee

Ana Moreira, Contact Person
Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Phone: +351-21-294 85 36, Fax: +351-21-294 85 41, Email:
Jean-Michel Bruel, Publicity & On-site coordination
Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour , France
Phone: +33(0), Fax: +33(0), Email:

Robert France
Colorado State University, U.S.A.
Phone: +970-491-6356, Fax: +970-491-2466, Email:

Stuart Kent
University of Kent, UK
Phone: +44 (0)1227 827753 (direct line), Fax: +44 (0)1227 762811, Email:

Important dates

Submission Deadline:            April 11, 2000
Notification Date:                  May 1, 2000
Electronic Version Available: May 30,  2000