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A state-transition diagram presents a sequence of states that an object goes through during its lifecycle. It describes how the states of an object or component change.
A state is defined by its duration and stability.
A transition represents the change from one state to another.
A transition is triggered:
  • by an event.
  • automatically when no triggering event is specified.
For example, the diagram below presents the different steps for a car wash:
Elements of a state-transition diagram
A state-transition diagram includes the following elements:
  • state: represents the value of the object attributes at a given time.
  • initial state: represents the state when the system is started.
  • final state: represents the state of the system at the end of the operation.
  • superstate: used to structure the diagram by specifying several distinction levels between the states.
  • history: represents the last active state of a superstate (or composite state).
  • entry/exit points: represent the states in a superstate. This allows you to link these states to other states that do not belong to the superstate.
  • transition: represents the change from one state to another.
  • package: divides and organizes the diagram representation (in the same way that directories organize files).
For more details on the actions available on state-transition diagrams, see Operations performed on state-transition diagrams.
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  • Version 9
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Last update: 05/24/2023

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