CIF 3

Imports and groupsΒΆ

Large systems can be hierarchically modeled using groups. When using imports, two specifications may not have declarations with the same name. Groups however, are the exception to this rule. Consider a factory with two machines, each consisting of two parts. We can model this using five files, one for each of the parts of the machines, and one for the factory as a whole. The following CIF specifications show the contents of the five CIF files, where the comment at the first line indicates which file it is:

// p1.cif

group machine1:
  automaton part1:
    location idle:
      initial;
      edge tau goto running;

    location running:
      edge tau goto idle;
  end
end
// p2.cif

group machine1:
  automaton part2:
    location idle:
      initial;
      edge tau goto running;

    location running:
      edge tau goto idle;
  end
end
// p3.cif

group machine2:
  automaton part1:
    location idle:
      initial;
      edge tau goto running;

    location running:
      edge tau goto idle;
  end
end
// p4.cif

group machine2:
  automaton part2:
    location idle:
      initial;
      edge tau goto running;

    location running:
      edge tau goto idle;
  end
end
// factory.cif

import "p1.cif";
import "p2.cif";
import "p3.cif";
import "p4.cif";

The four CIF specifications for the machine parts differ only in their group and automaton names. Their implementations are kept identical for simplicity. The factory.cif file imports all four part specifications, which together form the full factory. The effect of the imports in factory.cif is the following:

group machine1:
  automaton part1:
    location idle:
      initial;
      edge tau goto running;

    location running:
      edge tau goto idle;
  end

  automaton part2:
    location idle:
      initial;
      edge tau goto running;

    location running:
      edge tau goto idle;
  end
end

group machine2:
  automaton part1:
    location idle:
      initial;
      edge tau goto running;

    location running:
      edge tau goto idle;
  end

  automaton part2:
    location idle:
      initial;
      edge tau goto running;

    location running:
      edge tau goto idle;
  end
end

For groups with the same name, the contents of the groups is merged together. That is, automaton part1 in the machine1 group from one CIF file, and the automaton part2 in that same machine1 group from another CIF file, end up in a single machine1 group after eliminating the imports.

In general, contents of groups with the same name are merged into a single group. This works also for groups in groups, groups in groups in groups, etc. If two CIF files that are imported both contain a group a and in both CIF files those groups contain a group b, then the contents of both a groups are merged, and also the contents of both b groups are merged. It is not allowed for different CIF files to have declarations with the same name in the same group. It is allowed to have declarations with the same name in different groups. The file itself (the top level) can be considered a group as well.