Re: Use cases and activity diagrams

From: Nils Paz <Nils_Paz_at_raytheon_dot_com>
Date: Mon Feb 21 2005 - 11:55:57 CST

In current systems architecture, the engineer's discussions with the client
and research of other references produce a dialog in terms of scenarios,
use cases, activity diagrams, and others. The scenarios are captured with a
formal tool (such as IBM/Rational ROSE) or other less expensive tools using
the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Since UML is a standard accepted
widely, it is a useful tool for documenting and depicting diagramatically
the dynamic and static machine states of the system. Currently, Object
Oriented software houses use UML to design and generate the elementary code
and then the algorithmic parts of the code are coded by engineers. Some OO
houses only capture the architecture with the diagrams and generate code by
hand using the diagrams as a guide. Others perform roundtrip engineering
whereby they generate code from the class diagram and from legacy code
reverse engineer the OO class diagram from the legacy code.
Before any code is written, system engineers spend a great deal of time
putting scenarios down in some sort of diagram (activity, use cases, state
machines) which provides them with basis of an architecture which they then
pass on to the software engineers. Within DoD, there is a push to use DoD's
Architecture framework (DoDAF) such that operational view and system view
are captured in some formal way. Whether one use UML or not, The diagrams
end up being very useful for guiding, documenting and (maybe) generating
All the discussions generated in OVC are of the system engineering ilk. We
have scenario discussions of machines and voters under different
conditions. I am suggesting that we capture these formally such that any
software or system engineer can look at the diagrams and understand the
effort. The wikipaedia is an excellent start but unfortunately you have to
read a tremendous amount before you understand the work already discussed.
As a picture is worth a thousand ... words...Diagrams communicate
efficiently and effectively the intentions of the group.

                      "Ed Kennedy"
                      <> To: "Open Voting Consortium discussion list" <>
                      Sent by: cc:
                      ovc-discuss-bounces@listma Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Use cases and activity diagrams
                      02/18/2005 08:37 PM
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Hello Nils:

    Um. We're in the Wikipedia? Frightenign thought if true. A quick
visit to the wikipedia turned up nothing obvious. Perhaps you could
me with a link? Also, could you please give me a little more information
what are use cases or activity diagrams? I'm a civil engineer so my
discipline may call it something entirerly different. I'm all for a well
documented and coherent architecture but I'm also for Mom and Apple Pie!

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

Nils Paz wrote:
> I know that the fruit of all our discussions are deposited in the
> wikipeadia as a record. Are we making any effort to place any
> scenarios we have discussed within use cases or activity diagrams
> such that they can be distilled into a well documented and coherent
> architecture?
> The effort would benefit all and certainly aid in our discussions.
> There are some free tools available that are simple to install and
> easy to learn. We could all participate in building the different
> scenarios we discuss and embellish them as other contribute ideas.
> They can be saved and pasted to our emails and archives in order move
> the work forward. The tool I am aware is UMLET (based on UML 2.0)
> ? Regards
> Nils Paz
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Received on Sun Feb 27 17:17:06 2005

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