Constraint Converter

(since v2.4.0)

Introduction

The ConstraintConverter analyzes the constraints of application schema elements and adds the resulting information to the model (in one form or another) for subsequent processing steps.

Evaluating geometry restrictions from OCL constraints

NOTE: This specific transformation has been developed in OGC Testbed 13, to support the conversion of an application schema to a schema compliant to the GML Simple Feature Level 0 Profile (see the Geography Markup Language (GML) simple features profile (with Corrigendum) (2.0), OGC document number 10-100r3). For further details, see the OGC NAS Profiling Engineering Report (OGC document number 17-020r1).

Some application schemas allow different types of geometries to be assigned to feature types. For example, depending on the use case, a building could be represented by a point or surface. The application schema may actually allow the use of many different geometry types, like curves, solids, and multi-geometries. This is typically convenient from a modelling perspective, since a common type hierarchy for spatial representation can be designed and used throughout the application schema.

However, a modeller may want to restrict the geometry options for specific feature types, either in general, or for particular use cases. One way to achieve this is the use of OCL constraints. For example, an OCL constraint on a feature type could be:

inv: place->forAll(p|(p.oclIsKindOf(PointPositionInfo) or p.oclIsKindOf(SurfacePositionInfo)))

The knowledge on which geometry types are allowed for a feature type is encoded in OCL constraints. This is a suitable approach: when deriving an XML Schema from the application schema, a Schematron schema can be derived from the OCL constraints, and used to check that the constraints are fulfilled by XML instance data.

ShapeChange supports a number of model transformations, for example the Flattener. Typically, a transformation does not update OCL constraints to reflect the transformed model. The variety of OCL expressions is immense. Any update of OCL constraints can therefore not be guaranteed to produce a valid result that still captures the intent of the modeller who designed the constraint.

However, transformations and targets may need information that is encoded in OCL constraints. The geometry types that are allowed to be used by a feature type are of interest to the Flattener rule-trf-prop-flatten-homogeneousgeometries. The Flattener expects this information to be available in the tagged value “geometry”, using specific abbreviations to identify a geometry type. The ConstraintConverter supports rules to populate this tagged value from the information found in OCL constraints. The rules work as follows:

  • Via the configuration parameter geometryRepresentationTypes, a list of all application schema types that represent certain geometry types is provided, together with the abbreviation to use in the “geometry” tagged value. Example: “SurfacePositionInfo=S;PointPositionInfo=P;CurvePositionInfo=C”.
    • NOTE: The parameter contains a list of key-value pairs. The list uses the semicolon as separator. The key is a string with the name of a type that represents a specific geometry type. The value is the abbreviation to use when populating the “geometry” tagged value.
  • For each type of the application schema, ShapeChange analyzes its constraints. A constraint that restricts the geometry representation is identified using a regular expression (given via configuration parameter geometryRepresentationConstraintRegex) that matches on the constraint name:

NOTE: Ideally, the ConstraintConverter would extract information on allowed geometry types by actually evaluating OCL constraints defined on (feature) types. However, as discussed before, doing so can be very complex. The ConstraintConverter rules therefore implement a simple approach that relies on a number of assumptions. An implementation that supports actual evaluation of OCL constraints to determine allowed geometry types is future work.

Configuration

Class

The class of this ShapeChange Transformer is de.interactive_instruments.ShapeChange.Transformation.Constraints.ConstraintConverter

Rules

rule-trf-cls-constraints-codeListRestrictionToTV

(since v2.6.0)

Checks OCL constraints on classes in the schemas selected for processing (ignoring code lists, enumerations, and basic types) to identify code list restrictions, and to store relevant information about such restrictions in the model (via tagged values). That information can be used by subsequent processes (e.g. by the XmlSchema target to create Schematron assertions with code list checks).

Supported code list restrictions follow one of the following forms:

  • /* Documentation (optional). */ inv: prop.oclIsTypeOf(CodeListType)
  • /* Documentation (optional). */ inv: prop->notEmpty() implies prop.oclIsTypeOf(CodeListType)
  • /* Documentation (optional). */ inv: prop->forAll(x|x.oclIsTypeOf(CodeListType))
  • /* Documentation (optional). */ inv: prop->notEmpty() implies prop->forAll(x|x.oclIsTypeOf(CodeListType))

NOTE: “self.” is allowed before the property name, so the following works as well:

  • /* Documentation (optional). */ inv: self.prop.oclIsTypeOf(CodeListType)
  • /* Documentation (optional). */ inv: self.prop->notEmpty() implies self.prop.oclIsTypeOf(CodeListType)
  • /* Documentation (optional). */ inv: self.prop->forAll(x|x.oclIsTypeOf(CodeListType))
  • /* Documentation (optional). */ inv: self.prop->notEmpty() implies self.prop->forAll(x|x.oclIsTypeOf(CodeListType))

The transformation rule identifies the property name as well as the name of the type from the restriction. It does this using the following regular expressions:

  • (?s).*inv:\s*(?:(?:self\.)?(?:\w+)->notEmpty\(\) implies)?\s*(?:self\.)?(\w+)\.oclIsTypeOf\((\w+)\)\s*
  • (?s).*inv:\s*(?:(?:self\.)?\w+->notEmpty\(\) implies )?(?:self\.)?(\w+)->forAll\(\w+\|\w+\.oclIsTypeOf\((\w+)\)\)\s*

NOTE: If the text of an OCL constraint does not match one of the regular expressions, it is ignored.

The transformation then checks if the modeled type of the property is “CharacterString”, and that the type from the restriction is a code list. If that is the case, then a tagged value ‘codeListRestriction’ is added to the property.

NOTE: Restricting the data type of a CharacterString-typed property to a code list is allowed in metadata profiles, i.e. profiles of ISO 19115.

NOTE: This rule will NOT result in subtype specific restrictions. In a situation where the property belongs to a supertype, and the OCL constraint occurs on one of its subtypes, the tagged value will be defined on the property. It thus appears as if the restriction applied in general (i.e., for other subtypes as well), even though that may not have been the intent. That is a known limitation of this transformation rule.

rule-trf-cls-constraints-geometryRestrictionToGeometryTV-exclusion

(since v2.4.0)

The abbreviations from those types from parameter geometryRepresentationTypes that DO NOT occur in constraints selected via parameter geometryRepresentationConstraintRegex are set in the “geometry” tagged value.

rule-trf-cls-constraints-geometryRestrictionToGeometryTV-inclusion

(since v2.4.0)

The abbreviations from those types from parameter geometryRepresentationTypes that DO occur in the constraints selected via parameter geometryRepresentationConstraintRegex are set in the “geometry” tagged value.

rule-trf-cls-constraints-geometryRestrictionToGeometryTV-typesWithoutRestriction-byValueTypeMatch

(since v2.4.0)

Tagged value “geometry” will be set – with all the geometry types from parameter geometryRepresentationTypes as value – for all types:

rule-trf-cls-constraints-valueTypeRestrictionToTV-exclusion

(since v2.10.0)

An OCL constraint such as inv: place→forAll(p|not(p.oclIsKindOf(CurvePositionSpecification) or p.oclIsKindOf(SurfacePositionSpecification))), and – for the sake of the example used to describe the transformation rule – name “Value Type Representations Disallowed”, restricts the set of allowed value types for a property. In the example, property place must not have a value of type CurvePositionSpecification or SurfacePositionSpecification.

With rule-trf-cls-constraints-valueTypeRestrictionToTV-exclusion, the value type restrictions defined by such OCL constraints can be extracted from the OCL expression, and converted into a tagged value, to be used by subsequent transformation and conversion processes.

Required transformation parameter valueTypeRepresentationConstraintRegex is used to identify the relevant OCL constraints. The parameter value contains a regular expression – for example .*Value Type Representations Disallowed.*, which matches the names of OCL constraints that define value type restrictions. The according OCL expressions must thereby be structured as in the example.

The name of the property that is restricted is parsed from the begin of the OCL expression: inv: {propertyName}->forAll…​ The property name may be preceded by self., i.e. inv: self.{propertyName}->forAll…​ is a valid alternative way to structure the value type restricting OCL expression.

Required transformation parameter valueTypeRepresentationTypes specifies the types that are used as value type by the UML properties identified in the value type restricting OCL constraints. For each such type, a list of names of the generally allowed types within the inheritance hierarchy of that type must be provided, which may include the type itself and abstract types. For example, the value of the configuration parameter could be: PlaceSpecification{PointPositionSpecification, CurvePositionSpecification, SurfacePositionSpecification, LocationSpecification}.

The transformation will parse a value type restricting OCL constraint in order to determine the (potentially inherited) UML property to which the constraint applies. Since the OCL expression is structured so that any type mentioned in the expression is disallowed/excluded, the transformation can easily determine the value types that are allowed for the property (by simply removing any type from the types that are generally allowed for the value type of the property, if the name of the type occurs in the OCL expression).

The remaining allowed types for the property are documented in the model by adding (also: overwriting, if it already exists) tagged value valueTypeOptions to the class on which the UML property is defined. The tagged value is structured as follows:

{propertyName}={allowedTypeName}(,{allowedTypeName})(;{propertyName}={allowedTypeName}(,{allowedTypeName}))*

For the example OCL constraint, that would result in: place=PointPositionSpecification,LocationSpecification

Parameters

geometryRepresentationConstraintRegex

Alias: none

Required / Optional: optional

Type: String with regular expression (using the syntax supported by Java)

Default Value: none

Explanation: Regular expression to identify relevant constraints by matching on the constraint name.

Applies to Rule(s):

geometryRepresentationTypes

Alias: none

Required / Optional: optional

Type: String with list of key-value pairs. The list uses the semicolon as separator between key-value pairs. The key is a string with the name of a type that represents a specific geometry type. The value is the abbreviation to use when populating the “geometry” tagged value

Default Value: none

Explanation: Provides a list of all application schema types that represent certain geometry types, together with the abbreviation to use in the “geometry” tagged value. Example: “SurfacePosi-tionInfo=S;PointPositionInfo=P;CurvePositionInfo=C”.

Applies to Rule(s):

geometryRepresentationValueTypeRegex

Alias: none

Required / Optional: optional

Type: String with regular expression (using the syntax supported by Java)

Default Value: none

Explanation: Regular expression to match on the name of property value types.

Applies to Rule(s):

valueTypeRepresentationConstraintRegex

Alias: none

Required / Optional: required

Type: String with regular expression (using the syntax supported by Java)

Default Value: none

Explanation: Identifies the relevant OCL constraints. The parameter value contains a regular expression – for example .*Value Type Representations Disallowed.*, which matches the names of OCL constraints that define value type restrictions.

Applies to Rule(s): rule-trf-cls-constraints-valueTypeRestrictionToTV-exclusion

valueTypeRepresentationTypes

Alias: none

Required / Optional: required

Type: String

Default Value: none

Explanation: Specifies the types that are used as value type by the UML properties identified in the value type restricting OCL constraints. For each such type, a list of names of the generally allowed types within the inheritance hierarchy of that type must be provided, which may include the type itself and abstract types.

Example: PlaceSpecification{PointPositionSpecification, CurvePositionSpecification, SurfacePositionSpecification, LocationSpecification}

NOTE: If multiple value types need to be described by the parameter, then a semicolon is used to separate the descriptions in the parameter value.

Applies to Rule(s): rule-trf-cls-constraints-valueTypeRestrictionToTV-exclusion

Map Entries

Currently, no specific map entries are defined for the ConstraintConverter.

Advanced Process Configuration

The ConstraintConverter does not make use of the advanced process configuration facility.

Sample Configuration

<Transformer
  class="de.interactive_instruments.ShapeChange.Transformation.Constraints.ConstraintConverter"
  id="TRF_GEOMETRY_RESTRICTION_TO_GEOMETRY_TAGGEDVALUE" input="TRF_X" mode="enabled">
  <parameters>
   <ProcessParameter name="geometryRepresentationTypes"
    value="PointPositionInfo = P; CurvePositionInfo = C; SurfacePositionInfo = S"/>
   <ProcessParameter name="geometryRepresentationConstraintRegex"
    value=".*Place Representations Disallowed.*"/>
   <ProcessParameter name="geometryRepresentationValueTypeRegex" value="PlaceInfo"/>
  </parameters>
  <rules>
   <ProcessRuleSet name="trf">
    <rule name="rule-trf-cls-constraints-geometryRestrictionToGeometryTV-exclusion"/>
    <rule
     name="rule-trf-cls-constraints-geometryRestrictionToGeometryTV-typesWithoutRestriction-byValueTypeMatch"
    />
   </ProcessRuleSet>
  </rules>
 </Transformer>