OCL Constraints Generation from Natural Language Specification

Imran Bajwa, Behzad Bordbar, Mark Lee

Research output: Contribution to conference (unpublished)Paperpeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Object Constraint Language (OCL) plays a key role in Unified Modeling Language (UML). In the UML standards, OCL is used for expressing constraints such as welldefinedness criteria. In addition OCL can be used for specifying constraints on the models and pre/post conditions on operations, improving the precision of the specification. As a result, OCL has received considerable attention from the research community. However, despite its key role, there is a common consensus that OCL is the least adopted among all languages in the UML. It is often argued that, software practitioners shy away from OCL due to its unfamiliar syntax. To ensure better adoption of OCL, the usability issues related to producing OCL statement must be addressed. To address this problem, this paper aims to preset a method involving using Natural Language expressions and Model Transformation technology. The aim of the method is to produce a framework so that the user of UML tool can write constraints and pre/post conditions in English and the framework converts such natural language expressions to the equivalent OCL statements. As a result, the approach aims at simplifying the process of generation of OCL statements, allowing the user to benefit form the advantages provided by UML tools that support OCL. The suggested approach relies on Semantic Business Vocabulary and Rules (SBVR) to support formulation of natural language expressions and their transformations to OCL. The paper also presents outline of a prototype tool that implements the method. © 2010 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2010
EventProceedings of the 14th IEEE International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference (EDOC 2010) -
Duration: 29 Oct 2010 → …


ConferenceProceedings of the 14th IEEE International Enterprise Distributed Object Computing Conference (EDOC 2010)
Period29/10/10 → …


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