Developing Sequence Diagrams in UML

  • Il-Yeol Song 
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2224)


The UML (Unified Modeling Language) has been widely accepted as a standard language for object-oriented analysis and design. Among the UML diagrams, one of the most difficult and time-consuming diagrams to develop is the object interaction diagram (OID), which is rendered as either a sequence diagram or a collaboration diagram. Our experience shows that developers have significant trouble in understanding and developing OIDs. In this paper, we present an effective ten-step heuristic for developing sequence diagrams and illustrate the technique with a case study. In this technique, we show a proper use of control objects and boundary objects when developing sequence diagrams. In our heuristic the relationships among multiple sequence diagrams in a single use case are elegantly represented using control objects. We found that developers effectively developed sequence diagrams using this heuristic method.


Control Object Boundary Object Class Diagram Case Description Sequence Diagram 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. [1]
    Ambler, S. Building Object Applications That Work, SIGS Books, 1998Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Booch, G., Rumbaugh, J., and Jacobson, I (1999). The Unified Modeling Language: User Guide. Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Delcambre, L.M.L. and Eckland, E., A Behaviorally driven Approach to Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Object-Oriented Data Modeling, In Advances in Object-Oriented Data Modeling, MIT Press, 2000, pp. 21–40.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Engels, G., Groenewegen, L., and Kappel, G. Coordinated Collaboration of Objects, In Advances in Object-Oriented Data Modeling, MIT Press, 2000, pp. 308–331.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Eriksson, H. and Penker, M. (1998). UML Toolkit. New York: John Wiley, Inc.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Jacobson, I., Christerson, M., Jonsson, P., and Overgaard, G. Object-Oriented Software Engineering: A Use Case Driven Approach. Addison-Wesley, 1992.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Kabajunga, C and Pooley, R.. Simulating UML sequence diagrams. UK Performance Engineering Workshop, UK PEW 1998, pages 198–207, July 1998.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Larman, C., Applying UML and Patterns, Prentice Hall, 1998.Google Scholar
  9. [9]
    Li, X. and Lilius, J. Timing Analysis of UML Sequence Diagrams. UML’99, The Unified Modeling Language. Beyond the Standard. The Second International Conference, Fort Collins, CO, USA, October 28–30, 1999.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Maciaszek, L. A., Requirement Analysis and System Design: Developing Information Systems with UML. Addison Wesley, 2001.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Pooley, R. and Stevens, P., Using UML: Software Engineering with Objects and Components. Addison Wesley, 2000.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Quantrani, T. Visual Modeling with Rational Rose and UML. Addison Wesley, 1998.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Rudolph, E., Grabowski, J., and Graubmann, P. Towards a Harmonization of UML-Sequence Diagrams and MSC. SDL’99 — The next Millenium, Elsevier, June 1999.Google Scholar
  14. [14]
    Rosenberg, D. (1999). Use Case Driven Object Modeling with UML: A Practical Approach, Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Siau Keng (2001). Unified Modeling Language: Systems Analysis, Design and Development Issues. Idea Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Seemann, J. and Wvg, J. (1998). Extension of UML Sequence Diagrams for Real-Time Systems, In Proc. International UML Workshop, Mulhouse, June 1988.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Song, I.-Y., Watts, P., Hassell, L., and Wong, C. “Modeling Dynamic Behavior with Object Interaction Diagrams,” Proc. of 4th International Conference on Computer Science and Informatics (CSI.98), Oct. 23–28, 1998, pp. 408–412.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Texel, P. and Williams C. Use Cases Combined with Booch/OMT/UML: Process and Products. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall PTR, 1997.Google Scholar
  19. [19]
    Yourdon, E., Whitehead, K., Thomann, J., Oppel, K., and Nevermann, P. Mainstream Objects: An Analysis and Design Approach for Business. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Yourdon Press, 1995.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Il-Yeol Song 
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Information Science and TechnologyDrexel UniversityPhiladelphia

Personalised recommendations