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A Graphical Approach to Prove the Semantic Preservation of UML/OCL Refactoring Rules

Refactoring is a powerful technique to improve the quality of software models including implementation code. The software developer applies successively so-called refactoring rules on the current software model and transforms it into a new model. Ideally, the application of a refactoring rule preserves the semantics of the model on which it is applied. In this paper, we present a simple criterion and a proof technique for the semantic preservation of refactoring rules that are defined for UML class diagrams and OCL constraints. Our approach is based on a novel formalization of the OCL semantics in form of graph transformation rules. We illustrate our approach using the refactoring rule MoveAttribute.

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