Overview about UML4PF

UML4PF is conceived as an eclipse plugin consisting of a collection of eclipse features. Additionally, UML4PF contains new UML profiles that support requirements engineering methods. It is based on Eclipse (Version 3.5, Galileo) development environment and extends the eclipse plugin Papyrus.

This new UML profile serves to support pattern and model-based requirements engineering method based on Michael Jackson's problem frames. The UML profile allows developers to express the various models generated during requirements analysis using UML diagrams. Integrity conditions (formally expressed as OCL constraints) are provided to automatically perform semantic validations associated with the method and they are applicable for single models as well as the coherence of various models.

Model-based development is a promising approach to develop high-quality software. The basic idea of model-based software development is to construct a sequence of models with ascending level of detail and cover different aspects of software development problems and their solutions. This procedure offers the advantage of multiple validation possibilities. Each model can be validated separately for desired properties. Additionaly, relationships between diagrammatic and formal models can be examined.

Problem frames are a means to describe software development problems. Michael Jackson defines them as follows: "A problem frame is a kind of pattern. It defines an intuitively identifiable problem class in terms of its context and the characteristics of its domains, interfaces and requirement."