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Behavior Consistent Refinement of Object Life Cycles

Authors: M. Schrefl, M. Stumptner
Paper: Schr97a (1997)
Citation: David W. Embley, Robert C. Goldstein (eds.): Proceedings of the 16th International Conference On Conceptual Modeling (ER '97), Los Angeles, California, USA, November 1997, Springer Verlag, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, LNCS Vol. 1331, ISBN 3-540-63699-4, pp. 155-168, 1997.
Resources: Copy  (In order to obtain the copy please send an email with subject  Schr97a  to


This paper examines the inheritance of object life cycles that are specified by behavior diagrams. A behavior diagram of an object type models possible life cycles of its instances by states, activities and arcs corresponding to places, transitions and arcs of Petri Nets. In an inheritance hierarchy, subtypes specialize the life cycle of supertypes by extension, i.e., adding states and activities, and (the focus of this paper) refinement, i.e., decomposing states and activites into substates and subactivities.

The main contribution of this paper are necessary and sufficient rules for checking behavior consistency between a behavior diagram of a type and a refined subtype, as well as for the combination of extension and refinement.