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Software Engineering: Principles and Practice by Hans van Vliet

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Chapter 10. Modeling

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • To know about various classic modeling techniques

  • To know about the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and its main diagram types

  • To know the terminology of object orientation

Note

In the course of a software development project, and most notably during requirements engineering and design, many modeling notations are used. These range from very informal sketches of system functions or screen layouts, to highly formal descriptions of system behavior. The most common notations used are box-and-line diagrams with semiformal semantics. In this chapter, we discuss a number of these diagrammatic notations.

During software development, a lot of communication takes place. This communication is supported by all kinds of notations to convey its message. A sketch of a screen layout may support the communication between a user and a requirements engineer. A much more formal description of class interfaces may support the communication between a designer and a developer.

The most common notations used to support communication between the various stakeholders involved in software development involve some sort of box-and-line diagrams. Sometimes, these diagrams have very informal semantics. For instance, the boxes may denote parts of the system, where it is not clear what exactly a part is. One box may denote a major subsystem, another box may denote the set of security measures taken. Likewise, lines may denote a parts-of relation, a calling relation, a uses relation, ...

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