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  1. OMG Issue

MOF26 — MOF does not have the correct semantics for links in the presence of association specialization

  • Key: MOF26-13
  • Legacy Issue Number: 16270
  • Status: open  
  • Source: Anonymous
  • Summary:

    In MOF 2.4, CMOF reflection allows you to create a link as an instance of a single association and to test two links for equality. However, MOF 2.4 seems to be silent on the semantics of association generalization.

    According to the UML spec, if I have two associations A1 and A2, where A2 specializes A1, and I create a link between two objects o1 and o2 as an instance of A2, a link of A2 is also a link of A1. From 7.3.20 Generalization: “Each instance of the specific classifier is also an indirect instance of the general classifier.”

    However, CMOF semantics defines link equality so it requires association equality as well. This appears to conflict with UML semantics.

    Does this matter? Well, the UML metamodel does have association generalizations in it, where needed to make property redefinition syntactically valid. For such association generalizations, if we accept the MOF semantics, then they must be purely a syntactic convenience, i.e. they do not imply the link classification that the UML spec says that they imply.

    But there is a problem. Let’s look more closely at association specialization in the UML metamodel. In Fig 13.13 of UML 2.4 there is a property Interval::min that is redefined as TimeInterval::min. The opposites of these properties are also redefined and are association-owned, so the associations specialize in order to maintain well-formedness. I can confirm this is true in the UML metamodel. If I set TimeInterval::min to a particular value, then I am instantiating A_min_timeInterval. Because of the MOF semantics, I am not instantiating A_min_interval. That gives anomalies. If I were given an instance x that I knew to be at least an Interval, and used CMOF reflection linkedElements(A_min_interval, x, true) to find the linked elements, I will not find its min value in the case where x is actually a TimeInterval. I count that as a bug.

    In summary, the CMOF API that allows links to be explicitly manipulated and navigated should be defined so that a link of a sub-association is also a link of its super-associations.

  • Reported: MOF 2.4 — Thu, 26 May 2011 04:00 GMT
  • Updated: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 15:41 GMT