Activity Diagram

What Does Activity Diagram Mean?

In Unified Modeling Language (UML), an activity diagram is a graphical representation of an executed set of procedural system activities and considered a state chart diagram variation. Activity diagrams describe parallel and conditional activities, use cases and system functions at a detailed level.

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Techopedia Explains Activity Diagram

An activity diagram is used to model a large activity’s sequential work flow by focusing on action sequences and respective action initiating conditions. The state of an activity relates to the performance of each workflow step.

An activity diagram is represented by shapes that are connected by arrows. Arrows run from activity start to completion and represent the sequential order of performed activities. Black circles represent an initial workflow state. A circled black circle indicates an end state. Rounded rectangles represent performed actions, which are described by text inside each rectangle.

A diamond shape is used to represent a decision, which is a key activity diagram concept. Upon activity completion, a transition (or set of sequential activities) must be selected from a set of alternative transitions for all use cases.

Synchronization bars indicating the start or completion of concurrent activities are used to represent parallel subflows.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.