MSC-News: Dr. Ekkart Rudolph

Subject: MSC-News: Dr. Ekkart Rudolph
From: Rick Reed TSE (
Date: Tue Sep 03 2002 - 17:50:56 GMT

The originator of this message is responsible for its content.
----From Rick Reed TSE <> to mscnews -----

Dear Colleagues,

It is with sadness that I report that one of the founders of MSC, Dr. Ekkart
Rudolph of Munich has recently died.

I have known Ekkart for a number of years, and although I have not always
agreed with his technical views I have always enjoyed his company, which I
know is a view shared by many others.

Though I don't remember it myself, Ekkart presented a paper at the 2nd SDL
Forum held in Helsinki in 1985 in collaboration with Peter Graubmann on "A
method and tool for the Validation of SDL-Diagrams". However, the seminal
paper on MSC from Ekkart (with Jens Grabowski) was presented in Lisbon and
published in "SDL'89: The Language at Work". Up until that time, Sequence
Charts were an "additional notation" as in the SDL User Guidelines Annex of
Z.100 published in 1988. The result of Ekkart's presentation was a quiet
revolution: Ekkart accepted the challenge from the Forum to make sequence
charts a properly standardised language in its own right. He probably did
not realise at the time how much of a commitment he was making on behalf of
his contemporary employer - Corporate Research and Development of Siemens AG
where he worked on Petri Nets and SDL/MSC.

The Message Sequence Chart standard, Z.120, was first published in 1992
under Ekkart's stewardship. Already at this time Ekkart had many ideas and
concepts that were only to be accepted later, but it took some time for
others in the telecommunications languages group to catch up with him.

Ekkart originally got his diploma and doctoral degree in theoretical physics
at the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics in Munich. In 1977
he spent some time at the University of Oxford in the Frauendiener
Mathematical Institute working on General Relativity where I believe he was
in the same group as the now world-famous Stephen Hawking. He later told me
that in his view there is a great similarity between Feynmann diagrams used
in theoretical physics and MSC.

He was also an active musician, playing the violin in an orchestra in
Munich. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to hear him play, but this
other side of his life must have been just as consuming as MSC because he
often had to cut short stays at ETSI in the South of France to be back for a

A search for Ekkart's name on the internet will find numerous papers that he
has published, usually in collaboration with others as I believe he was too
modest to claim all the credit to himself. He was active until at least June
this year when he participated in the SAM (SDL and MSC) workshop in
Aberystwyth in Wales where jointly with Peter Graubmann he presented the
paper "MSC Connectors - The Philosopherıs Stone". He seemed reasonable well
at that time, though he has had some illness in recent years. It could be
that his natural cheerfulness was obscuring some lingering problem, so that
I was shocked to find out I will not see Ekkart again.

The MSC and SDL community will certainly miss Ekkart who has left a legacy
in the notation which seems destined to become common between ITU-T MSC and
OMG UML Sequence Diagrams.

Rick Reed, TSE Limited, 03 September 2002

The Laurels, Victoria Road Windermere Cumbria LA23 2DL United Kingdom Tel +44 15394 88462 Fax +44 15394 88218 Mob +44 79 70 50 96 50 email:

----End text from Rick Reed TSE <> to mscnews -----

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