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Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual, The, Second Edition by Grady Booch, Ivar Jacobson, James Rumbaugh

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component

A modular part of a system design that hides its implementation behind a set of external interfaces. Within a system, components satisfying the same interfaces may be substituted freely.

Semantics

A component describes a modular piece of a logical or physical system whose externally visible behavior can be described much more concisely than its implementation. The externally visible behavior is represented as a set of interfaces, possibly with attached behaviors, such as protocol state machines or use cases, for additional detail. A system specifies its implementation using slots that hold components satisfying specific interfaces. Any component that satisfies the set of interfaces can be substituted in a slot. The separation between ...

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