Ninth OOPSLA Workshop on Behavioral Semantics

Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop on Behavioral Semantics


The purpose of this workshop is improve the understanding and use of precise semantics in OO specifications and designs. The goal is to be a focal point that brings together theoreticians and practitioners to report their experience with making semantics precise, clear, concise and explicit in OO business specifications, business designs, and system specifications. Papers can range from academic research to industrial "war stories". The workshop continues the tradition of eight previous OOPSLA workshops. The specific objective this year is to examine the semantics of agents, especially e-commerce agents, and to debate the impact of extreme programming on precise semantics.


  1. Recent progress on the precise semantics of OO modeling.
  2. Industrial experience with precise specifications.
  3. Semantics of agents (including e-commerce agents).
  4. Is extreme programming compatible with precise semantics? Can there be extreme modeling or even extreme formal methods?
  5. Tool support for precise semantics.

Workshop Organizers

Behavioral Specifications of Businesses and Systems

Themes and Goals

The need to understand and specify business and system semantics in a precise and explicit manner, independently of any (possible) realization, has been recognized for a while. Some progress has been made in these areas, both in academia and in industry. However, in too many cases only lip service to these ideas has been provided, and as a result the systems we build or buy are all too often not what they are supposed to be.

We used to live with that, and quite often users relied on human intermediaries to "sort the things out" However, with the rapid development of e-commerce, there is no human intermediary; if the system is not what it is supposed to be then its user will quickly go to a competitor.

For a specification it is much more important to be clear and explicit than to be conformant to a specific language. In particular, business rules should never be invented (or discovered) by the developers: these rules are a part of the business specification to be read and accepted by the business subject matter experts. This applies to all kinds of specifications. Moreover, the same underlying concepts and constructs should be used for all specifications, thus providing a common ground for "getting from here to there" with explicit traceability.

The challenges in this area are varied and substantial. We are often urged to use the currently fashionable buzzwords, or a magic tool, that apparently will solve our problems. But tools are often a part of our problem set: a specifier who deals with the semantics of a complex subject matter does not need to struggle with the additional complexity of a methodology, a set of buzzwords, or a tool (i.e., a syntax).

Fortunately, we know a lot about the underlying concepts and constructs including domain patterns. Many have been around for quite a while, some of the basics were standardized in the Reference Model of Open Distributed Processing, and its usage, although not yet widespread, was discussed at our OOPSLA99 workshop. In many cases, good concepts are successfully used in a specific narrow area, and independently discovered and rediscovered again, possibly under different names. This need not be the case. As a simple and fashionable example, consider "extreme programming" used to obtain rapid negative feedback in the process of program development. The same approach - call it "extreme modeling" - can certainly be used in business and other modeling, and for the same reasons. Moreover, the results of business modeling may be - and have been - successfully used in business transformation.

Business Specifications Our goal - in the tradition of our previous OOPSLA workshops - is to be a focal point for bringing together theoreticians and practitioners to report their experience with making semantics precise, clear, concise and explicit in (OO) business specifications, business designs, and system specifications. Workshop contributions can range from research (where category theory is starting to be used successfully) through academic (transferring theory into practice) and industrial "war stories", with an emphasis on new areas like e-commerce and extreme modeling practice.


(Books [2] and [3] were based on the previous OOPSLA and ECOOP workshops on specification semantics.)

  1. Open Distributed Processing - Reference Model: Part 2: Foundations (IS 10746-2 / ITU-T Recommendation X.902, 1995).
  2. H.Kilov and W.Harvey (Eds.). Object-oriented behavioral specifications. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1996.
  3. H.Kilov, B.Rumpe, I.Simmonds (Eds.). Behavioral specifications of businesses and systems. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1999.
  4. K.Baclawski, H.Kilov, A.Thalassinidis, K.Tyson (Eds.). Proceedings of the Eighth OOPSLA Workshop on behavioral semantics (Denver, Novermber 1, 1999). Northeastern University, 1999.
  5. H.Kilov. Business specifications. Prentice-Hall, 1999.

Selection Process

The invitation to submit will be posted in various newsgroups and mailing lists. Invitation will also be emailed to traditional participants in this workshop Papers (5-10 pages) will be solicited and reviewed by the organizers. The accepted papers, after rework by the authors, will be published, again as usual, in Workshop Proceedings. These Proceedings will be distributed before the workshop.

Please send submissions to Haim Kilov <>

A/V Support

Ordinary (transparency) projector, 2 flipcharts.

Related Web Pages

OOPSLA2000 Web Site

Workshop Web Page on the OOPSLA2000 Site

Object-Oriented Behavioral Specifications
Northeastern University College of Computer Science
Jarg Corporation OOPSLA 2000