Use Case Diagram

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A use case diagram at its simplest is a representation of a user's interaction with the system and depicting the specifications of a use case. A use case diagram can portray the different types of users of a system and the various ways that they interact with the system. This type of diagram is typically used in conjunction with the textual use case and will often be accompanied by other types of diagrams as well.

A UML use case diagram for the interaction of a client (the actor) and a restaurant (the system)


While a use case itself might drill into a lot of detail about every possibility, a use-case diagram can help provide a higher-level view of the system. It has been said before that "Use case diagrams are the blueprints for your system".[1] They provide the simplified and graphical representation of what the system must actually do.


  • Always structure and organize the use case diagram from the perspective of the actor.[2]
  • Use cases should start off simple and at the highest view possible. Only then can they be refined and detailed further.[3]
  • Use case diagrams are based upon functionality and thus should focus on the "what" and not the "how".[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ McLaughlin et al, 2006, page 297
  2. ^ Vidgen, 2003, page 14
  3. ^ Vidgen, 2003, page 13
  4. ^ Siau & Lee, 2004, page 230


  • Gemino, A., Parker, D.(2009) "Use case diagrams in support of use case modeling: Deriving understanding from the picture", Journal of Database Management, 20(1), 1-24.
  • Jacobson, I., Christerson M., Jonsson P., Övergaard G., (1992). Object-Oriented Software Engineering - A Use Case Driven Approach, Addison-Wesley.
  • Kawabata, R., Kasah, K. (2007). "Systems Analysis for Collaborative System by Use Case Diagram", Journal of Integrated Design & Process Science, 11(1), 13-27.
  • McLaughlin, B., Pollice, G., West, D. (2006). Head First Object Oriented Analysis and Design, O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • Siau, K., Lee, L. (2004). "Are use case and class diagrams complementary in requirements analysis? An experimental study on use case and class diagrams in UML", Requirements Engineering, 9(4), 229-237.
  • Vidgen, R. (2003). "Requirements Analysis and UML: Use Cases and Class Diagrams", Computing & Control Engineering, 14(2), 12.