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Understanding and Comparing Model-Based Specification Notations.

Niu, Jianwei; Atlee, Joanne M.; Day, Nancy A.

In: 11th IEEE International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE'03), September 08 - 12, 2003, Monterey Bay, California, USA, pages 188-199. IEEE Press, September 2003.

Abstract: Specifiers must be able to understand and compare the specification notations that they use. Traditional means for describing notations' semantics (e.g., operational semantics, logic, natural language) do not help users to identify the essential differences among notations. In previous work, we presented a template-based approach to defining model-based notations, in which semantics that are common among notations (e.g., the concept of an enabled transition) are captured in the template and a notation's distinct semantics (e.g., which states can enable transitions) are specified as parameters. In this paper, we demonstrate the template's generality by using it to document the semantics of SCR, SDL, and Petri Nets. We also show how the template can be used to compare notation variants. We believe template definitions of notations ease a user's effort in understanding and comparing model-based notations.

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