This paper argues for use case maps as a higher level of design pattern, in certain circumstances. WARNING: These views were considered controversial by the patterns establishment.


Patterns in the style of the “gang-of-four” book or the ACE framework are becoming popular as a way of enabling developers to reuse good design solutions to implementation problems. However, systems constructed from combinations of many general patterns of these kinds, in which the specifics are in the code-customization details, are not easy to explain or understand as a whole. In particular, it can be hard to understand how stimuli propagate through a specific implemented system as a whole, through many components that may come from many different, overlapping patterns. This is an unsatisfactory state of affairs for real-time and distributed systems, for which stimulus-response behaviour is very important. This paper proposes that a solution to this problem requires a paradigm shift in description techniques at some scale, similar to the paradigm shift patterns provide from code. In the new conceptual domain above this paradigm shift, description techniques would provide a coherent view of a system as a whole and an organizing framework for understanding the combination of patterns from which it is constructed. The prospect also exists of discovering patterns of a different scale and kind in this domain. This paper proposes that a diagramming technique called use case maps provides a suitable paradigm shift and illustrates the proposal with examples that span the range from an object-oriented GUI to a distributed client-server system that processes end-to-end transactions across a network. The motivation for this work is high-level understanding and design of realtime and distributed systems.

-- GunterMussbacher - 12 Oct 2005


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Title Design Patterns at Different Scales
Authors R.J.A. Buhr
Type Conference
Conference/Journal Title Pattern Languages of Programs (PLoP96)
Month June
Year 1996
Pages 15
Keywords architecture, design, patterns, scale, use case maps
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
plop.pdfpdf plop.pdf manage 57 K 12 Oct 2005 - 19:58 GunterMussbacher PLoP96 paper
plop.psps manage 126 K 12 Oct 2005 - 19:59 GunterMussbacher PLoP96 paper
Topic revision: r2 - 12 Oct 2005, GunterMussbacher
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