Enumerations represent collections of related entities, such as types of products, types of available resources, available machine types, different countries, different colors, different genders, and so on. It is possible to use numbers to represent the different entities, for instance 0 for red, 1 for orange, and 2 for green, to represent the different colors of a traffic light. However, these numbers are rather arbitrary. Furthermore, they don’t actually represent numbers, but rather they represent one of the entities (red, orange, green). Enumerations allow giving each entity a name, and to use those names instead of numbers. This usually makes the model easier to read and understand. For instance, consider the following:

enum TrafficColor = RED, ORANGE, GREEN;

The enum keyword is used to declare an enumeration. The TrafficColor enumeration has three possible values or literals. The literals are named RED, ORANGE, and GREEN. An enumeration can be used as data type, and the enumeration literals can be used as values:

disc TrafficColor light = RED;

The TrafficColor enumeration is used as type of the light variable. The light variable is given value RED as its initial value. The default value of an enumeration type is its first literal (RED in this case). However, it is usually preferred to explicitly initialize variables with enumeration types, for readability.

edge change_color when light = RED do light := GREEN;

This edge has a guard that compares the value of the light variable to enumeration literal RED. Only if the light is currently RED, may this edge be taken. The edge further assigns enumeration literal GREEN as the new value of variable light. The edge as a whole models that if the light is currently RED, it may change color (event change_color) and become GREEN.

This lesson does not show all details regarding enumerations, nor does it show all available operations and functions. For further details, see the language reference manual.