Modeling - Purposes for UML Modeling - Communication

8 important questions on Modeling - Purposes for UML Modeling - Communication

What is Communication to Humans?

When communication is the goal, diagrams are the medium. Automatic transformation tools work on the models but humans use diagrams. Diagrams aren’t necessary in UML.

If you don’t want humans to look at your work, you can delete all of the diagrams, leaving the underlying model intact. The diagrams are just views into the model
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What is a model?

  • A model is really just a repository for all the model elements within the system
  • a database following the UML grammar
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What are Diagram elements?

The things you place on a diagram, may be used to create a model element if it does not already exist but they ultimately are just representations of the model element.

Multiple diagrams may contain the same element, show different aspects or detail of the same diagram element.

They are the same model element, which you can show by changing some property of the underlying model element; all the diagrams will change to reflect the new reality (see Fig. 2.3).

In fact, the same element can appear multiple times on the same diagram or on multiple diagrams.
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The power having more than one diagram element for a model element is...

potentially on many diagrams, allows the modeler to make several diagrams with overlapping content, each tailored to a different purpose, and audience.
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You may wish to construct more than one level of diagrams for the same audience:

  • the first, a high- level diagram showing an overview
  • and other diagrams showing more detail.

If you have more than one level of diagrams, capture the level with the other information.
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What is a special purpose of diagraming?

One special purpose of diagraming, often forgotten, is communicating to your future self. Many people find that if they look at code that they wrote a year later, they forgot all the details of how it works. Diagrams can be the same.
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What is a other special purpose of diagraming?

Another special purpose of diagraming is that of training new people on the project, either new programers, maintenance staff or users.

Particularly in these cases, consider the needs and ability of audience when you determine how to diagram.
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What is Communication to other tools.

Communication to Other Tools: There are several reasons to use UML models to communicate with other tools.


These could be done within the modeling tool, or they may be done by exporting the model to some other tools.

UML supplies a standard model-interchange mechanism that supports model exports and imports to other tools like SIG and MI.
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