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Glossary of Terms

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Something which cannot be directly instantiated; the opposite of concrete.
abstract class
A class that cannot be directly instantiated. Contrast: concrete class.
The creation of a view or model that suppresses unnecessary details to focus on a specific set of details of interest
The essential characteristics of an entity that distinguish it from all other kinds of entities. An abstraction defines a boundary relative to the perspective of the viewer.
An action by which the customer accepts ownership of software products as a partial or complete performance of a contract.
The specification of an executable statement that forms an abstraction of a computational procedure. An action typically results in a change in the state of the system, and can be realized by sending a message to an object or modifying a link or a value of an attribute.
action sequence
An expression that resolves to a sequence of actions.
action state
A state that represents the execution of an atomic action, typically the invocation of an operation.
The execution of an action.
active class
A class representing a thread of control in the system.
A class whose instances are active objects. See: active object.
A unit of work a worker may be asked to perform
active object
An object that owns a thread and can initiate control activity. An instance of active class. See: active class, thread.
activity graph
A special case of a state machine that is used to model processes involving one or more classifiers. Contrast: statechart diagram. Synonym: activity diagram.
actor (instance)
Someone or something, outside the system or business that interacts with the system or business.
actor class
Defines a set of actor instances, in which each actor instance plays the same role in relation to the system or business.
A coherent set of roles that users of use cases play when interacting with these use cases. An actor has one role for each use case with which it communicates.
An actor-generalization from an actor class (descendant) to another actor class (ancestor) indicates that the descendant inherits the role the ancestor can play in a use case.
actual parameter
Synonym: argument.
aggregate [class]
A class that represents the "whole" in an aggregation (whole-part) relationship. See: aggregation.
An association that models a whole-part relationship between an aggregate (the whole) and its parts.
A special form of association that specifies a whole-part relationship between the aggregate (whole) and a component part. See: composition.
The part of the software development process whose primary purpose is to formulate a model of the problem domain. Analysis focuses on what to do, design focuses on how to do it. See design.
analysis class
An abstraction of a role played by a design element in the system, typically within the context of a use-case realization. Analysis classes may provide an abstraction for several role, representing the common behavior of those roles. Analysis classes typically evolve into one or more design elements (e.g. design classes and/or capsules, or design subsystems).
analysis & design
A core workflow in the Unified Process, whose purpose is to show how the system's use cases will be realized in implementation; (general) activities during which strategic and tactical decisions are made to meet the required functional and quality requirements of a system. For the result of analysis and design activities, see "Design Model."
analysis mechanism
An architectural mechanism used early in the design process, during the period of discovery when key classes and subsystems are being identified. Typically analysis mechanisms capture the key aspects of a solution in a way that is implementation independent. Analysis mechanisms are usually unrelated to the problem domain, but instead are "computer science" concepts. They provide specific behaviors to a domain-related class or component, or correspond to the implementation of cooperation between classes and/or components. They may be implemented as a framework. Examples include mechanisms to handle persistence, inter-process communication, error or fault handling, notification, and messaging, to name a few.
analysis time
Refers to something that occurs during an analysis phase of the software development process. See: design time, modeling time.
architectural baseline
The baseline at the end of the Elaboration phase, at which time the foundation structure and behavior of the system is stabilized.
architectural mechanism
An architectural mechanism represents a common solution to a frequently encountered problem. They may be patterns of structure, patterns of behavior, or both.
architectural pattern
A description of an archetypal solution to a recurrent design problem that reflects well-proven design experience. Presented in the Software Architecture Document.
architectural view
A view of the system architecture from a given perspective; focuses primarily on structure, modularity, essential components, and the main control flows.
The highest level concept of a system in its environment [IEEE]. The architecture of a software system (at a given point in time) is its organization or structure of significant components interacting through interfaces, those components being composed of successively smaller components and interfaces.
The organizational structure of a system. An architecture can be recursively decomposed into parts that interact through interfaces, relationships that connect parts, and constraints for assembling parts. Parts that interact through interfaces include classes, components and subsystems.
A binding for a parameter that resolves to a run-time instance. Synonym: actual parameter. Contrast: parameter.
(1) A piece of information that (1) is produced, modified, or used by a process, (2) defines an area of responsibility, and (3) is subject to version control. An artifact can be a model, a model element, or a document. A document can enclose other documents.
A piece of information that is used or produced by a software development process. An artifact can be a model, a description, or software. Synonym: product.
artifact guidelines
A description of how to work with a particular artifact, including how to create and revise the artifact.
artifact set
A set of related artifacts which presents one aspects of the system. Artifact sets cut across core workflows, as several artifacts are used in a number of core workflows (e.g. the Risk List, the Software Architecture Document, and the Iteration Plan).
A relationship that models a bi-directional semantic connection among instances.
The semantic relationship between two or more classifiers that specifies connections among their instances.
association class
A model element that has both association and class properties. An association class can be seen as an association that also has class properties, or as a class that also has association properties.
association end
The endpoint of an association, which connects the association to a classifier.
asynchronous action
A request where the sending object does not pause to wait for results. Contrast: synchronous action.
An attribute defined by a class represents a named property of the class or its objects. An attribute has a type that defines the type of its instances.
A feature within a classifier that describes a range of values that instances of the classifier may hold.



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