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Tutorial 7-UML Diagram:Activity diagrams

7.Activity diagrams
An activity diagram is essentially a fancy flowchart. Activity diagrams and statechart diagrams are related. While a statechart diagram focuses attention on an object undergoing a process (or on a process as an object), an activity diagram focuses on the flow of activities involved in a single process. The activity diagram shows the how those activities depend on one another.

For our example, we used the following process.

"Withdraw money from a bank account through an ATM."

The three involved classes (people, etc.) of the activity are Customer, ATM, and Bank. The process begins at the black start circle at the top and ends at the concentric white/black stop circles at the bottom. The activities are rounded rectangles.

Activity diagrams can be divided into object swimlanes that determine which object is responsible for which activity. A single transition comes out of each activity, connecting it to the next activity.

A transition may branch into two or more mutually exclusive transitions. Guard expressions (inside [ ]) label the transitions coming out of a branch. A branch and its subsequent merge marking the end of the branch appear in the diagram as hollow diamonds.

A transition may fork into two or more parallel activities. The fork and the subsequent join of the threads coming out of the fork appear in the diagram as solid bars.

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