You are here: UCM Web>UCMNavDocumentation>UCMNavQuickHelp (20 Feb 2006)
The following Quick Help is available in the tool's About menu.

Keyboard Shortcuts


  • c : Component Tool (creation)
  • p : Path Tool (creation/continuation)
  • s : Select Tool
  • Del : Delete Components/Paths/Path Elements
  • m : Select All Map Elements
  • Esc : Deselect All Map Elements
  • u, PageUp : Install Parent Map
  • d, PageDown : Install Submap
  • l : Lower Last Component

Element Fixing

  • e : Full Editing
  • f : Fix Components
  • a : Fix All Positions


  • UP : Scroll Up
  • DOWN : Scroll Down
  • LEFT : Scroll Left
  • RIGHT : Scroll Right


  • + : Zoom In
  • - : Zoom Out
  • v : Fit Virtual Area
  • = : Fit Map

Group Move Operations

  • Shift+UP : Move Up
  • Shift+DOWN : Move Down
  • Shift+LEFT : Move Left
  • Shift+RIGHT : Move Right

The underlined characters in the menus are reachable through the ALT key (Unix versions). For example:

  • ALT-F ALT-S calls the Save action in the File menu.
  • ALT-F ALT-P calls the Print action in the File menu.

Navigating the Workspace

The UCM Navigator allows UCMs to be constructed anywhere in the workspace. The virtual area is larger than what is usually visible on the screen using 100% magnification.

When the workspace cannot be shown in its entirety, scroll bars appear on the right and bottom sides. Scrolling with these bars shows different areas of the workspace. To show more or less of the workspace at once, click on the Scale button and choose a magnification level. Several useful magnification levels are provided:

  • Fit Map: automatically calculates a zoom level to fit all of the current UCM on screen.

  • Fit Virtual Area: zooms out to show the entire workspace on the screen at once. Resizing the UCM Navigator window also changes the amount of the workspace visible at any given time.

Path Creation

To create a path, select the Path tool by clicking on the Path button with either the left or right mouse button. Right-clicking the Path button will always start a new path; left-clicking will start a new path if no path is currently selected, or continue the currently selected path if one exists.

To begin, left-click once in the workspace to place the start point of the path. Further clicks in the work area will extend the current path, placing an empty point at the location of each click and connecting the new point to the last point. If a new point falls within the boundaries of a component, it is automatically bound to that component.

To begin a new path, first de-select the current path by clicking the Select button and clicking on a blank area of the workspace, or right-click on the Path button, or press the escape key ("Esc"). Continue as noted above.

Component Creation

To create a component, first click the Component button to select the Component tool. Then, click and drag the left button in the workspace to anchor one corner of the component. Proceed to drag the mouse to the desired location of the opposite corner.

By default new components are created as teams but all component characteristics can be changed by way of the component attributes dialog box. This dialog box is invoked either through a component's own popup menu or by double- clicking on a component.

Components can also be copied and pasted through the appropriate functions in the Components menu or in the popup menu.

Selecting a Component or Path Element

To select a component or a path element (including empty points, start points and end points), click on the Select tool and left-click once inside the boundary of the desired component or element.

Addition of UCM Path Elements

To add UCM elements to paths such as responsibilities, forks, or timers, first use the Select tool (Select button). Select the path point handle (small circle, use the menu Options -- Show Data Points) where it is desired to add the element. Right clicking will then bring up a context sensitive popup menu of applicable "single-element transformations". Each UCM element on a path will have its own list of transformations that may be invoked by the user. Element attributes are also accessible through this popup menu.

Double-Element Transformations

Several transformations such as the creation of joins require the selection of two UCM elements and are thus termed "double- element transformations". Select the first element of interest and then hold down the Shift key while clicking the second element.

Alternatively a selection rectangle can be drawn around the two elements by dragging out a rectangle with the select tool chosen.

The popup menu of applicable transformations is then invoked in the same manner as for single-element transformations, i.e. by right clicking.

Group Selections

The UCM Navigator has the capability to select multiple elements which may be either path elements or software components. Group selections can be used for group moves, alignments, and deletions.

Elements (either path elements or components) may be selected by either selecting them individually with the Shift key pressed or by dragging out a selection rectangle which will select all path elements and components inside its borders. Selection rectangles are created simply by dragging out rectangles with the Select tool chosen.

If the start point of the rectangle is inside a component and it is not desired to select and move the component, the selection rectangle can be drawn by holding down the Control key while dragging out the rectangle. Holding the Control key inhibits selection and subsequent moving of an enclosing component.

Alternatively both of these methods can be combined with a selection rectangle used to select a number of elements and the shift select method can be used to add additional elements to this group selection.

There is also a deselection mechanism whereby if the Shift key is pressed and a previously selected path element or component is selected again it is deselected and removed from the list of selected elements and components. The escape key ("Esc") deselects any selection.

Additionally if it is desired to select all of the path elements and components in a map (e.g. for moving all map elements) this can be accomplished with the "Select All Map Elements" operation in the Components menu or by using the "m" keyboard shortcut.

Group Move and Alignment Operations

Once a multiple selection of components and path elements is made, it can be moved as a group through the use of the right mouse button for coarse movement and Shift - arrow key combinations for fine control.

Moving a group of one or two elements can be done by pressing the Control key and right-clicking. This prevents a popup menu with double-element transformations to appear.

In addition once a multiple selection is made, alignment and distribution operations invoked by the Align main menu item can be performed. It should be mentioned that the editing mode has no effect on either the group move or alignment operations.

The Fix Components and Fix All Positions modes are intended to allow users to prevent undesired component and path element movement when the user intends simply to select elements and not to move them. As the group move and alignment operations are explicitly invoked by the user there is no need to prevent them based on the editing mode in effect.

Component/Path/Element/Group Deletion

To delete components, paths and path elements, select the Delete item in their respective popup menus or press the delete key ("Del"). Paths are deleted by deleting their start point.

Multiple selections can be used for group deletion via the delete key ("Del").

Several path elements cannot be deleted:

  • Or-Forks and And-Forks: undesired branches must be removed manually by deleting the first empty point on each such branch which follows the fork element.

  • Or-Joins and And-Joins: undesired branches must be removed manually by decomposing the first empty point on each such branch which precedes the join element.

  • Stubs with more than one input or output segment: segments must be removed manually by decomposing the first empty point on each such segment which precedes or follows the stub. Stubs with one input segment and one output segment can be deleted.

  • Timers with timeout paths: the timeout path must be deleted first by selecting the "Delete Timeout Path" item in the timer's popup menu.

  • End points: the whole path or branch needs to be deleted.

  • Single empty/control point between two path elements: at least one empty point must be present at any time between two path elements. Empty points enable path transformations and the addition of new path elements.

Adding Plug-ins to Stubs

Plug-ins (submaps) can be added to stubs in different ways by right-clicking on a stub:

  • Create New Sub Map: Asks for the submap name, and then adds a submap of that name under the selected stub. Submaps can be edited in the same manner that maps are.

  • Import Plugin From File: Installs a submap from a UCM file into the current Stub.

  • Install Existing Plugin: Adds a submap found under another Stub into the selected dynamic stub’s list of available plugins. Modifications made to that submap are reflected globally in all stubs which contain the submap.

  • Image of Existing Plugin: Identical to Install Existing Plugin, but makes a copy of the submap so any modifications to it are local and do not affect other stubs or submaps.

  • Transfer Root Map: Transforms a root map into a plugin for the selected stub.

Plug-ins can be bound to a stub by selecting how stub input and output segments are connected to start points and end points in the submap(s).

Additionally, a selection policy can be added to a dynamic stub. This policy explains the conditions under which one or more plug-ins are selected.

Selection/Creation of Root/Plug-in Maps

The Maps menu contains a Select Map option which enables the selection of a specific root/plug-in map to be viewed.

Additional root maps can be created with the Create New Root map function in the same menu.

The Decomposition Level window allows the direct navigation in a hierarchy of plug-ins.

Creation and Use of UCM Sets

UCM sets regroup root maps and plug-in maps. Sets can be used to restrict the navigation, to export UCMs or EPS/MIF/CGM/SVG graphics, or to print UCMs.

A set is created by selecting Create New UCM Set in the Maps menu. Root maps and plug-ins can be added to the set, which can also have a name, a description, and a primary map.

When navigating a design, the current map can be added to or removed from any predefined UCM set (through the Maps menu).

Saving and Loading UCM Designs

The File menu contains options for loading UCMs from disk. Note that loading a UCM into memory will overwrite any existing UCMs. If there are unsaved changes, the UCM Navigator will present a dialog box asking if the current map should be saved.

UCMs may be saved to disk using either the Save or Save As commands in the File menu. The files are saved by default with a .ucm extension and are stored in XML format. Backup files (.ucm.bak) are automatically created.

The Options menu contains an Autosave function which can optionally be set to various intervals. The resulting files have a .aus extension. Such files can be copied and renamed manually when the tool crashes, or can be loaded using Revert from Autosave in the File menu.

Exporting/Importing UCMs

The UCM export/import mechanism enables the concurrent development of one or many UCM designs.

To export UCMs, select the Export Maps command in the File menu. Options allow the export of the current UCM (with or without the bound submaps) or of a particular UCM set.

Exported UCMs can be imported in two ways:

  • As plug-ins: choose a stub and select Import Plugin From File in its popup menu.
  • As root maps: select the Import Root Map command from the File menu or from the Maps menu.

When imported, responsibilities and components with conflicting names can optionally be duplicated (and renamed) or transformed into references to existing responsibilities/components.

Further, the Utilities menu contains tools which allow duplicated responsibilities/components to be transformed, at any time, into references to other existing responsibilities/components.

UCM Reports and Printouts

UCM reports can be printed by accessing the Print command in the File menu. UCMs may be printed to an installed printer or to a Post Script (.ps) file. Under Windows, we strongly advise the generation of a Post Script file.

When printing, options exist to specify what additional elements should be included in the report, including the current date and time, descriptions of elements, etc. Other options allow the printing of the current UCM (with or without the bound submaps), of a particular UCM set, or of all UCMs.

The Post Script output is PDF-enabled, i.e. hyperlinks on UCM stubs and plug-in names are automatically created, and an index is automatically generated. The Post Script files can be transformed into a PDF file with external tools such as Adobe Acrobat Distiller or ps2pdf.

Generation of EPS/MIF/CGM/SVG Graphics

UCM drawings can be exported to four graphical formats:

  • .eps (Encapsulated Postscript, for publishing)
  • .mif (Maker Interchange Format, for FrameMaker)
  • .cgm (Computer Graphics Metafile, for Office applications)
  • .svg (Scalable Vector Graphics, for Web documents)

Select the appropriate item in the File Menu. Options allow the export of the current UCM (with or without the bound submaps), of a particular UCM set, or of all UCMs. The files are currently being generated in the UCMNAV_HOME directory.

Scenario Definitions

In order to specify named end-to-end scenarios through a complex system, which are needed for MSC/XML generation and for scenario highlighting, it is necessary to create scenario definitions which reference a global data model for the design.

There are three steps for creating scenario definitions.

  1. Define a set of global boolean variables for the design.
  2. Define logical selection conditions at branching points (OR-forks, timers, and dynamic stubs ) which reference the global variables.
  3. Define a set of scenario definitions which specify:
    • initial values for relevant variables
    • a list of path start points
    • an optional postcondition

Scenario definitions are also regrouped under scenario groups.

Scenario Highlight

Scenario definitions can be used in combination with a UCM path traversal mechanism to highlight the segments that are visited. Elements and segments visited once are colored in red, whereas those visited many times are in colored in orange.

Scenario highlight can be performed via the scenario window (accessible from the Scenario menu). Right-clicking on a start point and selecting "List Scenarios" will also generate a list of scenarios where this start point belongs.

Once paths are highlighted, the navigation mode is restricted to the plug-ins visited by the scenario. Removing the highlighting and getting back to a full navigation mode can be done throught the scenario menu.

The traversal can generate warnings and errors along the way. For instance, for a specific scenario definitions, there could be non-determinism (two branches or plug-ins can be selected), or deadlocks (conditions or synchronizations that cannot be fulfilled).

The colored paths can be exported in EPS/MIF/CGM/SVG files.

MSC Generation

Scenario definitions can be used for generating Message Sequence Charts in the Z.120 textual form. ".msc" files are created for scenarios in a way similar to scenario highlight. The MSC files can be visualized using commercial and research tools (e.g. Telelogic Tau 4.4)

XML Scenario Generation

Scenario definitions can also be used for generating scenarios in an intermediate XML format, valid according to the DTD scenario1.dtd. Such XML scenario can be postprocessed (e.g. with XSLT) and transformed into other representations such as MSC, UML sequence/collaboration/activity diagrams, TTCN test cases, etc.


Several UCM elements can be exported to the DOORS requirements management system. UCMNav can generate DXL scripts which can be run in DOORS and update the DOORS database. These UCM elements can be linked to other types of requirements, enabling traceability between scenarios and external requirements. A DXL library is required to run the script (available upon request to

CSM Export

UCM models can be exported to CSM (Core Scenario Model), an intermediate format used by various tools for performance analysis (e.g. layered queueing networks, timed Petri nets, and simulation).

For Additional Information...

Please consult the UCM Navigator User's Manual, available at:

-- Daniel Amyot - 21 Feb 2006

Topic revision: r1 - 20 Feb 2006 - 21:28:49 - Daniel Amyot
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