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Executable UML: A Foundation for Model-Driven Architecture by Marc J. Balcer, Stephen J. Mellor

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8.4. Association Loops

When we build a model with many classes and associations, it is often possible to trace a path from a class, through other associations and classes, back to the class whence we came. This pattern in the graphic is referred to as an association loop.

Definition: An association loop is a set of associations that together make up a path from one class, through other classes, back to the same class.

An association loop sometimes has a meaning separate from the sum of its parts, and sometimes it doesn't. Proper analysis of loops enhances our understanding of the problem and the diverse constraints between the associations in the domain.

In this section, we will examine several types of association loops:

  • Unconstrained association ...

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