Definition of Behaviour/Behavior

Definition Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

A behaviour is an activity attributed to an entity, i.e. a behaviour is a description of the way that an entity changes in time, intrinsically or in response to external changes.

For comparison, the current UML1OMG Unified Modeling Language™ (OMG UML), v2.5 pdf here. definition of a behaviour is:

a specification of events that may occur dynamically over time

The significance of “dynamically” in the UML definition is unknown.

Examples

Treacle oozes; dogs chase cats; wasps sting if annoyed.

Relationships

Behaviours are expressed as relationships of the forms:

[Behaviour] is an [activity] attributed to [entity]

[Activity] attributed to [entity] is [behaviour]

[Behaviour] of [entity] is [activity] of [entity]

Scope

Behaviour is a defined term of Enterprise Architecture. Behaviour is a defined term of Business Analysis

Discussion

Article Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

Activity vs. Behaviour

Section Last Updated 17-Dec-2015 12:51

All behaviour is activity, but not all activities are behaviours: behaviour requires the identification of an entity to which the activity can be attributed; activity does not.

Examples:

  • “The lioness is creeping through the long grass.” describes a behaviour: the lioness is attributed the activity
  • “Some of the long grass is waving.” describes an activity: some grass is not an entity to which the activity can be attributed
  • “There is movement in the long grass.” is ambiguous: “in” suggests that only part of the long grass is moving, but it is not well-identified enough to be an entity; but, if the emphasis were on “the long grass”, suggesting a defined border separating long grass from shorter grass, the long grass might be in fact be an entity in its own right2If this type of ambiguity (not some actual threatening movement in long grass somewhere) turns out to be a significant problem for anybody I would a) be surprised b) like to know about it. .

Notes   [ + ]

1.OMG Unified Modeling Language™ (OMG UML), v2.5 pdf here.
2.If this type of ambiguity (not some actual threatening movement in long grass somewhere) turns out to be a significant problem for anybody I would a) be surprised b) like to know about it.

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