Henrik von Scheel, Often it is a preliminary step used to create an overview of the system that can later be elaborated. DFDs can also be used for the visualization of data processing structured de and show what kind of information will be input to and output from the system, where the data will come from and go to, and where the data will be stored. It does not show information about the timing of processes or information about whether processes will operate in sequence or in parallel.
Figure 5. An example of a Data Flow Diagram Ref. It is common practice to draw the context-level data flow diagram first, which shows the interaction between the system and external agents that act as data sources and data sinks. This helps to create an accurate drawing in the context diagram. The context diagram shows the entire system as a single process and gives no clues as to its internal organization.
The Level 1 DFD shows how the system is divided into subsystems processeseach of which deals with one or more of the data flows to or from an external agent, and which together provide all of the functionality of the system as a whole.
It also identifies internal data stores that must be present in order for the system to do its job and shows the flow of data between the various parts of the system. Susan Fowler, Software analysts and deers use a variety of diagrams, not for variety's sake but because different types of diagrams highlight different aspects of a system.
For example, data-flow diagrams show the functions of the system, state-transition diagrams show the timings in the system, and entity-relationship diagrams show the data relationships. The diagrams software developers use will also depend on their development culture—in other words, what most people are familiar with, what your spec-writing guidelines say, whether the software company does mostly transactional systems or object-oriented systems, and so on.
The three most common software diagrams and a few of their variations are listed in this section.
Data flow diagram
For information on other types of software diagrams, see Resources. The data-flow diagram also known as the DFD, bubble chart, process model, business-flow model, workflow diagram, or function model is good for displaying the functions of a system but not good for modeling databases or time-dependent behavior Figure Data-flow diaqrarn. The data-flow diagram DFD pictures a system as a network of functional processes connected with flows, plus occasional collections called stores of data Yourdonpp.
Processes or functions are shown as circles or sometimes as rounded rectangles. A process shows a part of the system that transforms inputs into outputs.
Flows are shown as arrowed lines either straight or curved. Stores places where data are stored are shown as two parallel lines or an open-ended rectangle. Not all systems have stores. Terminators, external entities or people with which the system communicates, are shown as rectangles.
Because the diagrams can become as complex as the systems they describe, analysts have a method for breaking up a diagram into manageable pieces: They create levels. The entity-relationship diagram also known as the ERD or E-R diagramis good for describing the layout of a stored-data system.
It is not good for modeling functions or time-dependent behavior Figure Entity-relationship diaqrarn.
The entity-relationship diagram ERDbecause it is relatively simple and familiar, is a good communication tool. It can be shown to:. Systems analysts who need to see the relationships between data storage systems.
The data-administration group that maintains the global, corporate-wide information model. The database administration group that manages the corporate databases and implements changes. ERDs have two main components: object types and relationships.
Object types are shown as rectangles. An object type represents a collection or set of objects in the real world. The label is a noun or name, usually singular.
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Relationships are indicated with lines or diamond shapes. One-to-one and one- to- many relationships can be indicated using single-headed arrows 1 to 1 and double-headed arrows 1 to many. Direction from Object 1 to Object 2 can be shown with the arrows as well.
A required relationship can be shown with a short line; an optional relationship can be shown with an open circle. Unified Modeling Language UML logical and physical data models are good for modeling object-oriented databases. The diagrams can indicate inheritance as well as a wide variety of relationship types.
The diagrams can be used to show either logical Figure or physical models Figure UML logical data model. UML physical data model.
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Logical data models LDMs show the logical data entities, the attributes describing those entities, and the relationships between entities. Physical data models PDMs show the internal schema of a database, including the data tables, their data columns, and the relationships between tables. The visual components are rectangles, with an area at the top for the object name, and lines that show the relationships between tables and sometimes also inheritances. For more information on notation and analysis, see the books listed in Resources.
The state-transition diagram Figure is good for showing a system's time-dependent behaviors. Originally deed for real-time systems such as process control, telephone switching systems, high-speed data acquisition systems, and military command and control systems, state-transition diagrams are now used whenever timing might be an issue—for example, if thousands of terminals might hit a database at the same time or when activities occur in flurries, as shown in Figure State-transition diagrarn.
Complex state-transition diagrarm. State- transition diagrams have symbols for states, transitions, and conditions and actions. States are shown as rectangles. Transitions are shown as arrows connecting related pairs of states. Although the transitions are not labeled, rules about valid connections are implied by the arrows themselves. Conditions and actions dfd chapter 4 shown as a line and two short sentences, with conditions above the line and actions below it. Stein, J. Chassin de Kergommeaux, in Advances in Parallel Computing Structuring the environment as components of a data-flow diagram is well suited for the implementation of modules needing a single access to the information derived from the trace.
An example of such a module could be one that computes the CPU usage of nodes—for each received thread state which is not a blocked state, the module adds the duration of the state to an accumulator corresponding to the thread's node; it is never necessary to access the state again.
Another example is a passive visualization module that, for each received entity, displays a corresponding visual representation that cannot be interrogated or changed. However, if the module receiving the data is interactive, it needs to access the data objects several times.
This is the case of a visualization module that gives the possibility to inspect the displayed objects or provides a historical vision of a trace allowing one to display portions of the trace. If such a module receives the data objects traveling on the data-flow graph independently, it should either store the objects or have to query them again each time they are needed.
The first solution in added complexity of such modules, to manage a large volume of data, as well as data replication if more than one module of this type is used.
The second solution in added computation costs to read and simulate the trace several times. To overcome this contradiction, a new type of component was deed and implemented, to produce compound objects. The compounding component encapsulates the elementary objects produced by the simulator into a single object which represents the current observation window of the parallel program execution.
This compound object is produced by the compounding component and consumed by the following components in the data-flow graph see figure 2.
Each elementary object input by the compounding component is linked to the compound object. At regular intervals, if the compound object has been changed, it is put in the data-flow graph, so that the following modules of the graph can take the changes into. All the accesses of the other components to the elementary objects are done through the compound object, according to a well-defined protocol.
This protocol defines how to obtain global information relative to the current observation window of nodes, maximum of thre in each node, etc. This way, all the complexity of storing and accessing the large quantity of data generated by the trace is isolated in the compound object. The compound object can be queried to enumerate the entities in a temporal sub-window, to give information about an entity or to inspect an entity. Besides simplifying the construction of data-consuming modules, centralizing access to the data has some other advantages for the construction of filters see section 3.
For diagrams with lots of data for example, a data-flow diagram for all of the company's actuarial tablesusers may need to isolate one or two datasets from the dozens or hundreds that could appear on the window.
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To filter a diagram, you may be able to adapt whatever filtering interface you already have in your system. Chapter 6Data Retrieval: Filter and Browsing, covers filtering. When there are many elements or when the diagram is used to analyze problems, it may make sense to provide a query-on-query option. In other words, rather than asking users to run new queries each time they have new questions, let them refine the search starting from the current set of data. David C.