[Modeling] Class Diagram Specification

Marc-Philippe Huget M.P.Huget@csc.liv.ac.uk
Wed, 11 Jun 2003 16:03:34 +0100

Hello all,

"Dr. Hong Zhu" wrote:

> As for the name of the new classifier, I would like to suggest a new name
> instead of using 'agent class' or 'agent type', which I find that many
> people who is not familiar with agent technology but have background in
> object orientation often get confused, when we explain that 'agent class is
> not class'. In UML, we already have two classifiers, type for classifying
> data, and class for classifying objects. I believe that people in this
> mailing list would agree that agent is significantly different from objects.
> Then, why not have a new name for classifying agents (the new type of
> entities)?

Hong, do you have any idea? The problem is if we put away the term agent we
certainly missed some people (just try to do a Google search on something on
agents that do not use this term...) and above all, we need to be proud of our
term agent and accept it in the title, isn't it? When reading messages, I agree
with you that the combination agent + class is a misfortune since it is quite
unrealistic to use these two words in the same title

> A 'class diagram' like this would be able to specify the static
> relationships between roles, but also depict certain dynamic relationships
> between agents and roles, if how agents would change their roles are
> represented in the same diagram.

I disagree with you on implementing role dynamics in "class diagram", my
opinion is that we have a dedicated diagram for role dynamics then we just
"link" roles in "class diagrams", the aim of UML is to define a diagram for
each particular view or elements, we don't need to do too much things in one
diagram: describing both agents and roles.


Marc-Philippe Huget

Agent Applications, Research and Technology Group
Department of Computer Science
University of Liverpool
Chadwick Building, Peach Street
L69 7ZF Liverpool
United Kingdom

email: mph@csc.liv.ac.uk