Re: UML and formal languages

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From: Jean Louis Sourrouille (
Date: Thu 31 Mar 2005 - 17:30:59 BST

In any language, an expression has interpretation(s) (i.e., meaning) in a 
semantic domain.
Generally, formal languages have only one interpretation in the semantic 
domain, which means that everybody understand an expression in the same 
way. Nevertheless, the interpretations can form an equivalence class, e.g., 
a+b+c has several interpretations in C++ such as: (a+b) +c   or   a+(b+c).
In the UML, an expression may have an unknown number of interpretations. As 
a result, the meaning depends on the reader (human, program...).
Unlike formal languages, you should define your interpretation of a UML 
model before any automatic treatment: checks, translation into programming 
language, etc.
Research groups are working to define a formal semantics for UML.


Le 17:31 31/03/2005, vous avez écrit:
>I am a BE student from NUST Pakistan. I am stuying formal methods as a 
>subject. We had a discusison in the class that "is UML a replacement for 
>formal methods?  if not then what is the difference between UML and formal 
>languages, and what benifits can formal languages(liek z and VDm) give 
>that UML cant".
>There were many views so i just wanted to know any coments form anyone 
>about this topic in this group.
>thank you
>To remove yourself from this list please mail
>with a message containing the word "unsubscribe".

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