Behavior Consistent Specialization of Object Life Cycles

M. Schrefl, M. Stumptner
Schr02a (2002)
ACM Transactions of Software Engineering and Methodology (ACM TOSEM), Vol. 11, No. 1, January 2002, ACM Press, ISSN 1049-331X, pp. 92-148, 2002.
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Object-oriented design methodologies represent the behavior of instances of an object type not merely by a set of operations, but they provide also an overall description on how instances evolve over time. Such a description is often referred to as ``object life cycle''.

Object-oriented systems organize object types in hierarchies in which subtypes inherit and specialize the structure and behavior of their supertypes. Evidently, the behavior of a subtype should specialize the behavior of its supertype according to some clearly defined consistency criteria. Such criteria have been formulated in terms of type systems for semantic data models and object-oriented programming languages. But corresponding criteria for the specialization of object life cycles have so far not been thoroughly investigated.

This paper defines such criteria in the realm of Object/Behavior diagrams, which have been originally developed for the design of object-oriented databases. Its main contribution are necessary and sufficient rules for checking behavior consistency between object life cycles of object types in specialization hierarchies with multiple inheritance.