Improving UML Profile Design Practices by Leveraging Conceptual Domain Models

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Executive Summary

Design of UML profiles typically involves ad-hoc processes that rely on domain-inappropriate primitives. One of the fundamental reasons for this is that profiles are specified at the same level of abstraction as the UML abstract syntax and consequently narrow down design space to implementation level. To avoid such situations, some profile designers start from a "Conceptual domain model" that identifies the domain abstractions, and only then deal with defining profile extensions to support it. Despite these improvements, building conceptual domain models and maintaining traceable mapping with a profile view has remained somewhat of an art. This paper proposes to systematize the design of UML profiles built on conceptual domain models, by adopting a set of minimum framing rules.

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