Informatics, TU Vienna

UML as a programming language

The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is, of course, a modeling language.


The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is, of course, a modeling language. But there are now standard, executable semantics for a subset of UML known as Foundational UML or fUML) and a standard language that provides a textual representation for this subset (the Action Language for fUML or Alf). Doesn't this just make at least this subset of UML into a programming language? Well, yes. After all, a programming language is really itself a modeling language for modellng computations that can actually be executed on computation hardware. In this view, all programs are models, but only some models, the executable models, are programs. Which means that an "executable modelling language" is, by definition, a programming language. But is this a good thing? That is the question to be explored in this talk, which will argue that the answer is "yes". And, moreover, UML as a programming language may, in fact, be important for moving forward in a number of, perhaps, unexpected areas, including agile development methods and programming for multi-core architectures.


Ed Seidewitz has nearly 30 years of professional experience with the modeling, architecture and development of systems spanning diverse domains including aerospace, finance, acquisition and health care. In 2009, his 2003 paper "What Models Mean" was named an IEEE Software magazine 25th Anniversary Top Pick. Mr. Seidewitz has been active with the Object Management Group (OMG) for 15 years, including involvement in every UML 2 Revision Task Force, as well as the Service Oriented Architecture Modeling Language (SoaML) and System Engineering Modeling Language (SysML) specifications. He was primary author of the Foundational Subset for Executable UML Models (fUML) and Action Language for Foundational UML (Alf) specifications. He is currently chair of the fUML 1.2 Revision Task Force, the Alf 1.1 Revision Task Force, the Essence 1.0 Finalization Task Force and the Model Interchange Special Interest Group, and a member of the UML 2.5 Finalization Task Force and the Precise Semantics of UML Composite Structures 1.0 Finalization Task Force.

Contact person at the TU Vienna

Gerti Kappel,, Tel. +43 1 588 01 - 188 70


This talk is organized by the Business Informatics Group at the Institute of Software Technology and Interactive Systems. Supported by the Austrian Computer Society (OCG) and the Center for Computer Science (Zentrum für Informatik Forschung, ZIF).