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Use Case Diagrams Use Case Descriptions. Use Case Book (Chapter 2) and Visual Modeling Book. Use Case Diagrams…. Withdraw Money. Transfer Money. Simply actors and use cases Can, of course, be much more detailed . Often the relationships are ‘tagged.’.

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Use case diagrams use case descriptions

Use Case DiagramsUse Case Descriptions

Use Case Book (Chapter 2)


Visual Modeling Book

Use case diagrams
Use Case Diagrams…

Withdraw Money

Transfer Money

Simply actors and use cases

Can, of course, be much more detailed. Often the

relationships are ‘tagged.’

Extending the uml with stereotyping
Extending the UML with Stereotyping

  • Know we have ‘Change’ in everything.

  • But very few graphics in UML.

  • Need to communicate special cases:

    • special classes

    • special kinds of use cases…

    • Extend UML for new ‘types’

    • New types of model elements?

    • We often need customization of models for some projects.

  • Extend UML? No! Ability to stereotype is built in.

Extending the uml with stereotyping1
Extending the UML with Stereotyping

  • Enter: Stereotyping.

    • Allow us to ‘refine’ / ‘reclassify’ ‘re-specify’ all model elements into a more specialized form rather than create additional symbols!

    • We might specify a Use Case as a <<mission critical>> or class name with the stereotype: <<boundary>> or <<control>> etc.

    • Indicate that the symbol is still a Use Case – but a ‘special one’ perhaps in a ‘special context.’

  • Most common UML stereotyped element is the class.

  • Stereotyping makes these different model elements!!!

    • (Incidentally, additional icons can be added, if wanted…)


A ‘special’ kind of class with special behaviors – a boundary class.

A ‘special’ kind of Association – indicates a use case that supports a more fundamental use case – one that is more significant.






Authenticate User

Stereotypes in modeling built ins and user defined
Stereotypes in Modeling:Built-ins and User-Defined

  • Stereotypes can be used to ‘increase relevance’ of model elements, such as use cases in requirements gathering.

    • (Much controversy on ‘extend use cases’ and ‘include use cases’ Much more later: stereotypes: <<includes>> and <<extends>>

  • Use Cases are quite commonly stereotyped

    • A <mission critical> use case ‘may’ be specified in a separate document addressing all stereotypes

    • “Stereotyped element” implies that there are‘special’ criteria.

    • e.g. A use case that is “mission critical” => must be processed within five seconds.

  • Classes may also very often stereotyped:

    • <boundary>, <control>, <entity> (as found in Analysis Modeling)

      • A boundary class is a special kind of class that interacts directly with an actor…

  • Any UML modeling element may be stereotyped….

Use case template be aware there are many many formats format is not critical content is
Use Case Template(Be aware there are many many formats. Format is not critical. Content is.)

One ofmany different

kind of formats…

Will discuss others in

next lecture.

Use cases
Use Cases

  • Use Cases – a great tool that helps us to express interactions between system (application) and actors.

  • We can see the behaviors of the system.

  • Meaningful to customer who is concerned with the ‘whats’ of the system to see how system and actor interact with each other.

  • Successful development of Use Cases requires an understanding of the goals of each of the use cases, which, in turn, is developed from identified, required functionality – namely Features.

Goals of use cases
Goals of Use Cases

  • Interactions must present a value to actor.

    • actor may be an accounting system; general ledger system; person; customer; a relay; or thermostat…

      • person, device, external system/database/file.

      • Actors are external to the system.

  • Use Cases are black box representations

    • Do not show implementation-specific language

    • Do not want to imply how use case will be realized.

    • Do not include language such as: people, interface widgets (buttons, menus…), IFTHENELSE statements, pseudo-code, more…

    • Are written in language of the application domain.

    • Are ‘abstractions’ of detailed interactions.

    • Capture stories addressing functional requirements…

Goals use cases capture whats
Goals: Use Cases capture ‘Whats’

  • “Context-free” use (that is, no design constraints)

  • Excellent for requirements gathering / modeling; analyzing and capturing desired user interactions

  •  Numbers of Use Cases?

    • 70-80 for very large system?

    • Medium sized – 20 to 50;

    • Small systems – fewer. Often 6 to 8 may be sufficient.

  •  Smaller number forces abstraction. Desirable.

  • There is no ‘one size / number’ fits all. But there are guidelines in their development! (Coming)


  • Actors trigger the start of a use case.

    • people, computer systems, date/time, relay, device...

    • Actors must receive value from the system

    • Systems that are actors generally supplying data or services to your system and vice versa.

      • May be a legacy RDBMS or a legacy VSAM file…

      • Pressure and temperature may be actors (triggers), as well as a device, such as a conveyer belt, given a signal to start…

  • Secondary actors (surrogate actors) (next slide)

    • actor/role providing system inputs/outputs from another actor/role.

    • First (outside) actor/role is ‘secondary actor’ and should be shown if its actions affect system reaction.

Secondary actors
Secondary Actors


Register Guest

Desk Clerk

(inheritance arrow)


Associations generalization in actors next slide
Associations: Generalization in Actors(next slide)

  • Generalization: Abstract the commonalities.

    • two sub-actors generalized into a super-actor

    • Have both behavior and attributes in common – described under the super-actor.

    • Super-actor should interact with use cases when ALL of its sub-actors interact the same way;

    • Sub-actors should interact with use cases when their individual interactions differ from that of the super-actor.

Some use case

Different use case

Actors and classes
Actors and Classes

  • Actors may influence how classes are built because they will be using the services of the objects of those classes.

  • Actors may themselves be classes –

  • Customer

    • often an Actor – external to the system.

    • often a Class (this is NOT an actor)

      • Probably: Customer exists in the domain model and is likely a business ‘entity.’

  • Makes sense to take care in creating the right actor to interact with the use cases.”

Actors and associations
Actors and Associations

  • Not customary to label association lines between actor & use case.

    • Default is <<communicates>>

      • But there are others…

  • Role names. Actors have ‘role names’ – useful if ‘association’ needs information beyond the fact that they simply interact.

    • Actor: Professor. role: student;

    • Actor: Professor. role: assessing another’s teaching; …

  • Associations exist in many forms and among many model elements…

    • between classes

    • between use cases

    • between design entities (subsystems, packages, etc.)

    • between analysis classes, etc .

Use case associations extend include stereotypes
Use Case Associations Extend/Include Stereotypes

  • Stereotyped associations indicate a special kind of association. (good pix – Chap 2, Use Cases, Fig 2.12)

    • Extending (blunt side) is a special use case that extends the original use case (sharp)

      • “Extending use case” would not exist without the use case it is extending (the extended use case);

      • Used for special cases; exceptional behaviors. Inserted behaviors

      • Arrow points toward the base use case that is being extended…

    • Include stereotype allows use case designers to avoid duplicating steps across multiple use cases (a reuse strategy).

      • Arrow extends away from the owning parent use case.

      • e.g. Authenticate User

    • Note: controversial;

    • Many Use Case authors do not like these and include the steps within the use case itself or use some other kind of sub-flow (later).

(Primary use case)

(extended) Use Case

extending Use Case

(inserted behaviors)

(Primary use case)

Use Case

Included Use Case

(Particularly good for reuse!)

Exception and alternative paths
Exception and Alternative Paths

  • Last look:

  • Exceptions are generally errors that may occur.

    • Interactions thus contain steps to be executed.

  • Alternatives may / may not be close to basic course of events – just not the most likely course of events.

    • No errors- but some authors treat these to document error conditions.

    • Alternatives may be just as important as the basic course…Often the case.

    • Some authors treat alternatives as MUCH less likely to occur. I don’t.

    • (Clearly, in some contexts, treating alternatives as those scenarios that are much less likely to occur may be appropriate)

  • Alternate Paths: very important to capture them (with full interactions in most cases, too).

  • Exception paths should be kept separate from alternative paths.

  • All have a home with their use-case.

The use case specification1
The Use Case Specification

  • A page or two of text; corresponds to a rounded oval in the Use Case diagram. Relate horror stories!!

  • Definitely need some kind of a standard template.

  • Most organizations using Use Cases develop their own template format. Consistency is critical.

  • In all, the Use Case Specification should contain most of the following attributes:

    • Name, iteration name/number; author, description, basic course of events; alternative paths, exception paths, triggers, assumptions; preconditions; post-conditions; references to related business rules; risks lists, and more.

  • All seem important.

The use case specification 2
The Use Case Specification -2

  • We have also indicated the need for an Index of Use Cases. Designate each use case as UC1, …, UCn.

  • Have already discussed the UC name: verb -> object

  • Iteration = the ‘maturity’ of the use case – and hence the maturity of our understanding of the functional requirements. (façade, filled, focused … many name variations…)

  • Descriptions –sentences describing the interaction.

The use case specification 3
The Use Case Specification -3

  • Basic Course of Events – (NOT in Façade)

    • actor always takes first step (trigger)

    • always have a ‘happy path’

      • Simple path; Most likely path)

    • Can include a picture, if helpful. (screen shot, etc.)

  • Alternative Paths

    • Other paths (may be less common)

    • Each alternative and exception (below) should indicate WHERE in the basic course of events the alternative / exception emanates from. Starting point.

    • Techniques:

      •  cite the step number;

      •  labels in the basic course of events (preferred). Discuss.

The use case specification 4
The Use Case Specification -4

  • Exception Paths

    • Like alternatives but typically shown for errors.

  • Extension Points

    • The <<extends>> relationship exists between use cases when one use case provides an optional sequence of events that is inserted in the other use case. (See pg. 36, Visual Modeling book for picture) (see pg. 42, Use Case text)

    • “Extension point” in the flow of events shows step name (in braces) or step number from which the extending use case extends. (more later)

    • Note: the extending use case points to the extended use case.

      • Again, this implies ‘inserted’ behaviors.

    • Extending use case has ‘no life’ without the extended use case

The use case specification 5
The Use Case Specification -5

  • Triggers - entry points for a use case

  • Assumptions –

    • document things assumed to be true (but might not be true) (Critical section.)

  • Preconditions –

    • Things that must be in place before an interaction may occur. (part of contract between use case and outside world)

  • Post Condition –

    • part of contract between use case and outside world; specify outcomes; independent of alternative path. e.g. transaction successfully posted.

  • Related Business Rules

    • - Reference to business rules Related Risks addressed by this Use Case.

    • Include a reference to the Risk List document

  • Author and Date

    • at bottom; original date for each version: façade, filled, focused etc.

Paths and scenarios
Paths and Scenarios

  • Use Cases – abstractions

    • Really need detailedinteractions – scenarios.

    • Scenarios can provide details of the interactions!

    •  Scenarios are instantiations of Use Cases:

      • Use Cases with data

  • Book provides three definitions for scenarios:

    • 1: merely an alternate path;

    • 2: an instantiation of the use case with a specific

      path plus relevant data;

    • 3: same as a use case (synonyms)

Paths and scenarios 2
Paths and Scenarios -2

  •  Definition #2 – the “Instance,” where the scenario is a realization of a use case (one possible path) with included data.

  • Scenarios can be used

    • during requirements capture for feedback to users and analysts that the use cases accurately reflect user needs, and

    • in testing to test whether the system reflects the requirements.

  • Scenarios, then, are instances, of use cases (complete with production data) that effectively test one path through a use case.

Use case packages
Use Case Packages

  • A package (looks like a folder) is a generalgrouping of related model elements such as classes, use cases, or Actors.

  •  Very desirable to group use cases into packages primarily because these packages can be used to form logical boundaries for dividing work among sub-teams.

  • A good rule of thumb – each package may correspond to a chapter or at least a major section in the user manual.

    • A division of functionality, responsibilities, etc……

  • Package Diagrams may contain use cases that are related….These go to functionality (architecture later)

  • In Rose, use the Use Case Model (in the browser) and group the Use Cases ‘by functionality’ into packages as much as possible…

More very important tidbits here
More – very important tidbits here.

  • The relationship between requirements and use cases is subject of much discussion.

    • A use case describes a unit of behavior

    • A requirement describes a law that governsbehavior

    • A use case can capture/satisfy/describe one or more functional requirements

    • A functional requirement may be satisfied by one or more use cases…

  • Note that a system will have other requirements besides ‘functional,’ such as performance, maintainability, scalability, reliability… that don’t map easily to use cases….

    • These tend to ‘thread themselves through Use Cases.’

    • Non-functional requirements

    • Some will readily be captured via the software architecture (later in course).

More very important
More – very important!

  • At end of use case modeling, you are ready to embark upon the creation of an Analysis Model (or preliminary design) … (some authors call it a robust analysis…)

  • Generally entering a second iteration within Elaboration Phase.

    • This will involve very careful and highly iterative analysis of use cases and all their scenarios.

    • This can only take place after the full Use Case Model is ‘completed.’

Prototyping provides basic flow and more
Prototyping Provides Basic Flow and More

  • Prototyping can be used to demonstrate ‘proof of concept.’

  • Can write a rough Users Manual from the prototype and use case descriptions.

    • (as if the prototype were a fully functioning system)

  • Prototyping normally provides the Basic Courses of events as well as alternative courses of events..

  • Necessary in order to fully capture the user expectation (and hence, functionality).

Prototyping provides basic flow and more1
Prototyping Provides Basic Flow and More

  • Prototype can contain simple windows containing radio buttons or generic icons – only to show functionality..

  • Should have a window navigation diagram within the prototype.

  • Whether you build a prototype, draw mockups, or use some other technique to address the visual aspects of your system, it is very useful to link your screen designs to your use cases.

    • (Can do this manually or via a visual modeling tool.)

  • Always have a consistent way to do a Back or Return or Cancel. Always have this button in same place called the same thing, etc.

Prototyping provides basic flow and more2
Prototyping Provides Basic Flow and More

  • Use Case text should be relatively free of presentation details.

    • Field names often match up directly with attribute names in domain model (classes; entities).

    • Use terms from domain!

    • Many nouns / actors are classes in domain model

    • Interactions will be ‘control’ later…

  •  Some controversy:

  • Important to do prototyping, mockups, etc. before you start writing use cases or

  • in conjunction with your use cases…Otherwise, you may spend lots of extra time trying to pin down your user expectations….

Common mistakes
Common Mistakes

  • 10. Write functional requirements instead of usage scenario text

  • 9. Describe attributes and methods in too much detail rather than usage

  • 8. Write the use cases too tersely (won’t do much good!)

  • 7. Divorce yourself completely from the user interface

    • Big mistake!!!

  • 6. Avoid explicit names for your boundary objects. (more later)

  • 5. Write using a perspective other than the user’s, and doing so in passive voice.

  • 4. Describe only user interactions; ignore system responses.

  • 3. Omit text and references for alternative courses of action

  • 2. Focus on something other than what’s ‘inside’ a use case,

    such as how you get there (precondition) or what happens

    afterward (post-condition).

  • 1. Spend a month deciding whether to use <<include>> or <<extend>> associations.

  • Read

    • Use Cases for Inquiry-only systems,

    • Use Cases for Requests For Proposals, etc.


Remaining slides are rosenberg s views
Remaining Slides are Rosenberg’s Views:

  • Good to see complementary treatment.

  • Read remaining slides on your own.

  • ========= End Lecture ===========

Summary points on use cases from use case driven modeling by rosenberg
Summary Points on Use Cases - fromUse Case Driven Modeling by Rosenberg

  • Essence of use case model is to capture user requirements of a new system or based on an existing system.

  • We need to Detail all scenarios users will be performing

  • Use Case Model is at conceptual center of the process.

    • Developed in cooperation with domain model

    • Precedes any Analysis modeling

  • Use Cases – sequence of actions that an actor, often a person (role), but perhaps some other kind of external entity, such as another system, performs within a system to achieve a particular goal.

Summary points on use cases from use case driven modeling by rosenberg1
Summary Points on Use Cases - fromUse Case Driven Modeling by Rosenberg

  • A complete and unambiguous use case describes one aspect of usage of the system without presuming any specific design or implementation.

  • Result of UC Modeling: all required system functionality is described in the use cases!! (Recall, however, that these evolve…)

  • Note: that the Façade Use Cases constitute an overview or umbrella look at the functionality; identification (without elaboration) of basic use cases – no basic course of events and many attributes not included.

More on basic course of events
More on Basic Course of Events…

  • ‘Basic course of action’ is the main ‘start to finish path’ the user will follow.

    • Alternate course of actions represent other used paths

  • Goal is NOT to build an elegant use case –

  • Goal is to ACCOUNT for everything user might do!

  • The more well-defined the system behavior is (modeled from the interactions in use case and other design drawings later), the easier it will be to build the system.

  • Developing Use Cases is sometimes referred to as a ‘behavioral approach’ to capturing requirements. Actually, this is correct.

Factoring out commonality in usage
Factoring out Commonality in Usage

  • Generalization - …

  • Includes – involves making one use case take full use of another use case. (more later) See page 42 for illustration)

    • Goes to ‘reuse’ = a prime objective of use case modeling.

    • Example I like: login or authentication use case may be ‘included.’ (factored out – not decomposition)

  • Association is defined as a stereotype. Put <<includes>> on arrow.

  • Extends – allows a modeler to insert one use case into another use case thus ‘extending’ the second use case. (use <<extends>> on arrow)

    • Can show ‘optional system behavior’ or behavior that is executed only under certain circumstances. (The ‘extends’)

    • Defined as a stereotype Put <<extends>> on association arrow.

    • <<extends>> points to use case that is extended (from extending use case)

More on extends and includes
More on Extends and Includes

  • We normally do not generalize use cases, because generalization is most useful for building elaborate structures dominated by abstract use cases….(But some people do…)

  • Don’t spend lots of time worrying to use includes, extends …..

  • Don’t spend lots of time with long, involved use case templates.

  • (I like the <<extend>> and <<include>> associations to assist in factoring functionality associated with Use Cases…)