Towards Ontologically Based Semantics for UML Constructs
Conceptual models are formal descriptions of application domains that are used in early stages of system development to support requirements analysis.
The Unified Modeling Language was formed by integrating several diagramming techniques for the purpose of software specification, design, construction and maintenance. It would be advantageous to use the same modeling method throughout the development process of an information system, namely, to extend the use of UML to conceptual modeling. This would require assigning well-defined, real-world meaning to UML constructs.
In order to model the real-world, we need to specify what might exist in the world, namely, an ontology. We suggest that by mapping UML constructs to well-defined ontological concepts, we can form clear semantics for UML diagrams. Furthermore, based on the mapping we can suggest ontologically-based intra- and inter-diagram integrity rules to guide the construction of conceptual models.
In this paper we describe the results we obtained by mapping UML constructs to a specific well-formalized ontological model. In particular, we discuss the ontological meaning of objects, classes, and of interactions.
KeywordsNatural Kind Class Diagram Sequence Diagram Ontological Model Ontological Concept
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