Unified Modeling Language

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The objective of this session is to introduce the subject of software engineering. When you have read this session you will understand what software engineering is and why it is important, know the answers to key questions which provide an introduction to software engineering, understand ethical and professional issues which are important for software engineers.


Virtually all countries now depend on complex computer-based systems. More and more products incorporate computers and controlling software in some form. The software in these systems represents a large and increasing proportion of the total system costs. Therefore, producing software in a cost-effective way is essential for the functioning of national and international economies.

Software engineering is an engineering discipline whose goal is the cost-effective development of software systems. Software is abstract and intangible. It is not constrained by materials, governed by physical laws or by manufacturing processes. In some ways, this simplifies software engineering as there are no physical limitations on the potential of software. In other ways, however, this lack of natural constraints means that software can easily become extremely complex and hence very difficult to understand.

Software engineering is still a relatively young discipline. The notion of ‘software engineering’ was first proposed in 1968 at a conference held to discuss what was then called the ‘software crisis’. This software crisis resulted directly from the introduction of powerful, third generation computer hardware. Their power made hitherto unrealisable computer applications a feasible proposition. The resulting software was orders of magnitude larger and more complex than previous software systems.

Early experience in building these systems showed that an informal approach to software development was not good enough. Major projects were sometimes years late. They cost much more than originally predicted, were unreliable, difficult to maintain and performed poorly. Software development was in crisis. Hardware costs were tumbling whilst software costs were rising rapidly. New techniques and methods were needed to control the complexity inherent in large software systems.

These techniques have become part of software engineering and are now widely although not universally used. However, there are still problems in producing complex software which meets user expectations, is delivered on time and to budget. Many software projects still have problems and this has led to some commentators (Pressman, 1997) suggesting that software engineering is in a state of chronic affliction.

As our ability to produce software has increased so too has the complexity of the software systems required. New technologies resulting from the convergence of computers and communication systems place new demands on software engineers. For this reason and because many companies do not apply software engineering techniques effectively, we still have problems. Things are not as bad as the doomsayers suggest but there is clearly room for improvement.

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Unified Modeling Language
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Sample Questions from the Unified Modeling Language Quiz

Question: What best describe the link between Book and Page?


it is an aggregation relationship

it is a composition relationship

Book is the parent class of this relationship

it means that Page inherits from Book

1 means that a Book can have at least 1 Page

1 means that a Page must be part of one Book only

Question: What are the differences/similarities between an aggregation and a composition?


both represent a subclassing relationship

both represent an ownership relationship

aggregation is stronger than composition in terms of life cycle dependency between the involved classes

in a composition relationship, deleting the instance of the owner (container) class would result in deletion of the instances of the contained class

Question: How the multiplicities of this diagram are interpreted?


a book must have at least one page

a book can be authored by one author only

an author must have at least one book

a page can be part of one or many books

many books can be authored by the same author

Question: What is a sequence diagram used for?


it is used to capture a dynamic behavior in your system

it is used to capture a static state of a part of your system

it is used to depict the associations between the system's classes

Question: Class Airplane is a Craft, that has Wings. It uses Airport to fly. Which diagram best depicts class Airplane?





Question: What is an association class?


an association class is a term used to distinguish the parent class of an association

an association class is a class introduced to carry attributes and operations of an association between two classes.

an association class is a class introduced to replace a one-to-one association betwen two classes

Question: What are Class Diagrams used for?


to depict the dynamic interaction between classes

to model the static structure of your system

to diagnose your system vulnerabilities

Question: What is true about the following class Student depicted using UML?


the attribute "id" is privately accessed

the attribute "id" is publicly accessed

getName, getId and isFemale are all attributes in class Student

getName accepts a parameter of type String

isFemale() is a protected method

isFemale() is a private method

Question: What is true about the relationship between Company and Employee?


this relationship is called composition

this relationship is called aggregation

Company is teh parent class of this relationship

Employee is the parent class of this relationship

it means Employee inherits from Company

Question: How to set an attribute's visibility (access level) in UML?


+ public, ~package, - protected, # private

+ public, #package, - protected, ~ private

# public, ~package, + protected, - private

+ public, ~package, # protected, - private

Question: What best describe the relationships between classes in this class diagram?


it is a generalization relationship between Food and Eatable

it is a realization relationship between Food and Eatable

it is an association relationship between Food and Eatable

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