Models and modelling
Models and modelling

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

6.7 Stereotypes

In the UML, a stereotype is a way of adding detail to any part (element) of a model. It is a way of expressing variation or a usage distinction that tells you more about the original element. For example, the line drawn between an actor and a use case indicates that there is an association between them. We could add the stereotype «communication» to such a line to emphasise the communication that takes place between the two. In practice, this stereotype is left out because it is the only type of association between an actor and a use case.

In general, stereotyping is a recognised way of extending the UML. You can define your own term and place it between the angle brackets (or guillemets: «»). However, there must be some agreement in the team about the existence and documentation of such new terms.

The UML includes some stereotypes that you cannot redefine. Two of them are used to describe dependencies between use cases and these are discussed in Subsections 6.8 and 6.9.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371