Using formalized temporal message-flow diagrams

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Abstract

Temporal message-flow diagrams (TMFDs), alternatively called sequence charts, interaction diagrams, event traces, or actor diagrams, are illustrations of a system's global message-passing activity over time, and a pictorial aid to understanding the system's behavior. They are widely used for requirements and documentation for network protocols and object-oriented applications. We present a general formalism for TMFDs, describe a suite of tools we have designed that employs this formalism, and present our experiences with these tools. The formalism and tools described serve to support and broaden the use of TMFDs in developing communicating systems.

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