Interaction Diagram Types

Posted : admin On 1/26/2022
  1. Interaction Diagram Types Examples
  2. What Is An Interaction Diagram
  3. Concrete Interaction Diagrams
  4. Object Interaction Diagram

The sequence diagram represents the flow of messages in the system and is also termed as an event diagram. It helps in envisioning several dynamic scenarios. It portrays the communication between any two lifelines as a time-ordered sequence of events, such that these lifelines took part at the run time. In UML, the lifeline is represented by a vertical bar, whereas the message flow is represented by a vertical dotted line that extends across the bottom of the page. It incorporates the iterations as well as branching.

This problem shows the calculations and steps necessary to create an interaction diagram for a reinforced concrete column. This is helpful for creating home. The sequence diagram represents the flow of messages in the system and is also termed as an event diagram. It helps in envisioning several dynamic scenarios. It portrays the communication between any two lifelines as a time-ordered sequence of events, such that these lifelines took part at the run time. In UML, the lifeline is represented by a vertical bar, whereas the message flow is represented by a vertical. Choose from 20 interaction types in Articulate Engage 360, then simply fill out a form with text and media to create beautiful interactions for your e-learning courses. To learn more, see the complete Engage 360 User Guide.

Purpose of a Sequence Diagram

  1. To model high-level interaction among active objects within a system.
  2. To model interaction among objects inside a collaboration realizing a use case.
  3. It either models generic interactions or some certain instances of interaction.

Notations of a Sequence Diagram

Lifeline

An individual participant in the sequence diagram is represented by a lifeline. It is positioned at the top of the diagram.

Actor

A role played by an entity that interacts with the subject is called as an actor. It is out of the scope of the system. It represents the role, which involves human users and external hardware or subjects. An actor may or may not represent a physical entity, but it purely depicts the role of an entity. Several distinct roles can be played by an actor or vice versa.

Activation

It is represented by a thin rectangle on the lifeline. It describes that time period in which an operation is performed by an element, such that the top and the bottom of the rectangle is associated with the initiation and the completion time, each respectively.

Messages

The messages depict the interaction between the objects and are represented by arrows. They are in the sequential order on the lifeline. The core of the sequence diagram is formed by messages and lifelines.

Following are types of messages enlisted below:

  • Call Message: It defines a particular communication between the lifelines of an interaction, which represents that the target lifeline has invoked an operation.
  • Return Message: It defines a particular communication between the lifelines of interaction that represent the flow of information from the receiver of the corresponding caller message.
  • Self Message: It describes a communication, particularly between the lifelines of an interaction that represents a message of the same lifeline, has been invoked.
  • Recursive Message: A self message sent for recursive purpose is called a recursive message. In other words, it can be said that the recursive message is a special case of the self message as it represents the recursive calls.
  • Create Message: It describes a communication, particularly between the lifelines of an interaction describing that the target (lifeline) has been instantiated.
  • Destroy Message: It describes a communication, particularly between the lifelines of an interaction that depicts a request to destroy the lifecycle of the target.
  • Duration Message: It describes a communication particularly between the lifelines of an interaction, which portrays the time passage of the message while modeling a system.

Note

A note is the capability of attaching several remarks to the element. It basically carries useful information for the modelers.

Sequence Fragments

  1. Sequence fragments have been introduced by UML 2.0, which makes it quite easy for the creation and maintenance of an accurate sequence diagram.
  2. It is represented by a box called a combined fragment, encloses a part of interaction inside a sequence diagram.
  3. The type of fragment is shown by a fragment operator.

Types of fragments

Following are the types of fragments enlisted below;

OperatorFragment Type
altAlternative multiple fragments: The only fragment for which the condition is true, will execute.
optOptional: If the supplied condition is true, only then the fragments will execute. It is similar to alt with only one trace.
parParallel: Parallel executes fragments.
loopLoop: Fragments are run multiple times, and the basis of interaction is shown by the guard.
regionCritical region: Only one thread can execute a fragment at once.
negNegative: A worthless communication is shown by the fragment.
refReference: An interaction portrayed in another diagram. In this, a frame is drawn so as to cover the lifelines involved in the communication. The parameter and return value can be explained.
sdSequence Diagram: It is used to surround the whole sequence diagram.

Example of a Sequence Diagram

An example of a high-level sequence diagram for online bookshop is given below.

Any online customer can search for a book catalog, view a description of a particular book, add a book to its shopping cart, and do checkout.

Benefits of a Sequence Diagram

  1. It explores the real-time application.
  2. It depicts the message flow between the different objects.
  3. It has easy maintenance.
  4. It is easy to generate.
  5. Implement both forward and reverse engineering.
  6. It can easily update as per the new change in the system.

The drawback of a Sequence Diagram

  1. In the case of too many lifelines, the sequence diagram can get more complex.
  2. The incorrect result may be produced, if the order of the flow of messages changes.
  3. Since each sequence needs distinct notations for its representation, it may make the diagram more complex.
  4. The type of sequence is decided by the type of message.
Next TopicUML Collaboration Diagram

Types of interaction diagram
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From the term Interaction, it is clear that the diagram is used to describe some type of interactions among the different elements in the model. This interaction is a part of dynamic behavior of the system.

This interactive behavior is represented in UML by two diagrams known as Sequence diagram and Collaboration diagram. The basic purpose of both the diagrams are similar.

Sequence diagram emphasizes on time sequence of messages and collaboration diagram emphasizes on the structural organization of the objects that send and receive messages.

Purpose of Interaction Diagrams

The purpose of interaction diagrams is to visualize the interactive behavior of the system. Visualizing the interaction is a difficult task. Hence, the solution is to use different types of models to capture the different aspects of the interaction.

Interaction Diagram Types Examples

Sequence and collaboration diagrams are used to capture the dynamic nature but from a different angle.

The purpose of interaction diagram is −

  • To capture the dynamic behaviour of a system.

  • To describe the message flow in the system.

  • To describe the structural organization of the objects.

  • To describe the interaction among objects.

How to Draw an Interaction Diagram?

As we have already discussed, the purpose of interaction diagrams is to capture the dynamic aspect of a system. So to capture the dynamic aspect, we need to understand what a dynamic aspect is and how it is visualized. Dynamic aspect can be defined as thesnapshot of the running system at a particular moment

We have two types of interaction diagrams in UML. One is the sequence diagram and theother is the collaboration diagram. The sequence diagram captures the time sequence ofthe message flow from one object to another and the collaboration diagram describes theorganization of objects in a system taking part in the message flow.

Following things are to be identified clearly before drawing the interaction diagram

  • Objects taking part in the interaction.

  • Message flows among the objects.

  • The sequence in which the messages are flowing.

  • Object organization.

Following are two interaction diagrams modeling the order management system. The first diagram is a sequence diagram and the second is a collaboration diagram

The Sequence Diagram

The sequence diagram has four objects (Customer, Order, SpecialOrder and NormalOrder).

The following diagram shows the message sequence for SpecialOrder object and the same can be used in case of NormalOrder object. It is important to understand the time sequence of message flows. The message flow is nothing but a method call of an object.

What Is An Interaction Diagram

The first call is sendOrder () which is a method of Order object. The next call is confirm () which is a method of SpecialOrder object and the last call is Dispatch () which is a method of SpecialOrder object. The following diagram mainly describes the method callsfrom one object to another, and this is also the actual scenario when the system is running.

The Collaboration Diagram

The second interaction diagram is the collaboration diagram. It shows the object organization as seen in the following diagram. In the collaboration diagram, the method call sequence is indicated by some numbering technique. The number indicates how themethods are called one after another. We have taken the same order management system to describe the collaboration diagram.

Concrete Interaction Diagrams

Method calls are similar to that of a sequence diagram. However, difference being the sequence diagram does not describe the object organization, whereas the collaboration diagram shows the object organization.

To choose between these two diagrams, emphasis is placed on the type of requirement. If the time sequence is important, then the sequence diagram is used. If organization is required, then collaboration diagram is used.

Where to Use Interaction Diagrams?

Object Interaction Diagram

We have already discussed that interaction diagrams are used to describe the dynamic nature of a system. Now, we will look into the practical scenarios where these diagrams are used. To understand the practical application, we need to understand the basic natureof sequence and collaboration diagram.

The main purpose of both the diagrams are similar as they are used to capture the dynamic behavior of a system. However, the specific purpose is more important to clarify and understand.

Sequence diagrams are used to capture the order of messages flowing from one object to another. Collaboration diagrams are used to describe the structural organization of the objects taking part in the interaction. A single diagram is not sufficient to describe the dynamic aspect of an entire system, so a set of diagrams are used to capture it as a whole.

Interaction diagrams are used when we want to understand the message flow and the structural organization. Message flow means the sequence of control flow from one object to another. Structural organization means the visual organization of the elements in a system.

Interaction diagrams can be used −

  • To model the flow of control by time sequence.

  • To model the flow of control by structural organizations.

  • For forward engineering.

  • For reverse engineering.