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A Reception is a feature of a Classifier, and is derived from a Signal element; it models receipt of the Signal. Receptions are treated in the same way as Operations and, where element compartments are displayed, are shown within their own compartment.

A UML Class element showing a receptions compartment in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

A Reception cannot be created without a Signal element, which either already exists or is created as a step in creating the Reception. The name of the Reception is drawn from the name of the Signal element, and the attributes of the Signal define the parameters of the Reception. Any changes to the Signal are reflected in the Reception, and vice versa.

Create a Reception



See also


Create a Signal element either in the Browser window or on a diagram.

Diagram Toolbox Signal Add Elements Directly To Packages


Create or drag a Class or Interface element on a diagram.

Drop Elements from Browser Window



  • Drag the Signal element from the Browser window onto the Class or Interface element and go to step 8, or
  • Right-click on the Class element and select the 'Features | Receptions' option

The Features window displays, at the 'Receptions' page.

Receptions can be created in the Features window on the Receptions tab.


Click on the Browse ellipsis button to the right of the New Reception text in the 'Name' column. The 'Select Signal' dialog displays (a variation of the 'Select <item>' dialog).

Select Dialog


Browse for and click on the Signal element. (If you didn't create a Signal element at the start, you could use the Add New button to create a new Signal element now.)


Click on the OK button. The Signal element's name and attributes are used to generate the Reception's name and parameters.


Click on the Close button.


Note the appearance of the Class and Signal elements in the diagram and Browser window.

A UML Reception element represents the mechanism by which a UML Class is able to receive and action a Signal.

OMG UML Specification

(UML Superstructure Specification, v2.1.1, p.447 - 448):

A reception is a declaration stating that a classifier is prepared to react to the receipt of a signal. A reception designates a signal and specifies the expected behavioral response. The details of handling a signal are specified by the behavior associated with the reception or the classifier itself. ... Receptions are shown using the same notation as for operations with the keyword <signal>.

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