Network management is a key technology for operating large heterogeneous data transmission networks. To allow deployment of equipment from different vendors, the OSI Telecommunications Management Network (TMN) framework defines the language GDMO ("Guidelines for the Definition of Managed Objects"). GDMO plays a crucial role in describing the appearance of network components. Unfortunately, the behavior of managed objects is defined in an informal manner using natural language. This results in behavior specifications which are often vague and ambiguous, increasing the possibility of different implementations not being interoperable. To achieve consistent, clear, concise, and unambiguous specifications, a formal methodology has to be utilised. This paper introduces a framework for the inclusion of formal behavior descriptions into GDMO specifications. The approach taken is object-oriented and tries to make use of as much information as can be extracted from GDMO definitions. Following a discussion of what types of behavior can generally be formalised, a logic programming language is presented which can be used in conjunction with the framework to specify the behavior of managed objects. The language is aimed at automatically producing prototypes of the described system as well as speeding up implementation. The language enforces strict type checking at compile time to catch errors as early as possible. Furthermore, it works on a rather abstract level to hide specific implementation details. To demonstrate the use of the formalism, an example from the domain of management of optical networks is discussed.
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