Sequence Diagram

What Does Sequence Diagram Mean?

A sequence diagram, in the context of UML, represents object collaboration and is used to define event sequences between objects for a certain outcome. A sequence diagram is an essential component used in processes related to analysis, design and documentation.


A sequence diagram is also known as a timing diagram, event diagram and event scenario.

Techopedia Explains Sequence Diagram

Object interactions usually begin at the top of a diagram and end at the bottom. In a sequence diagram, object interaction occurs through messages on the vertical and horizontal dimensions and are designated by horizontal arrows and message names. The initial sequence diagram message begins at the top and is located on the diagram’s left side. Subsequent messages are added just below previous messages. Sequence diagram messages may be subdivided by type, based on functionality.

A lifeline, which indicates a role, is represented by a named rectangular box with a dashed line descending from the center of the diagram’s bottom edge. Lifeline boxes represent participating sequence object instances. Blank instance names represent anonymous instances.


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Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…