🤖📘🍻 Hooray! After 3 years of work, we've finally released a new ebook on design patterns! Check it out »

Visitor Design Pattern in Java

VisitorComposite1 is a basic Composite implementation with one recursive traversal method. VisitorComposite2 is a non-Visitor implementation that models "parsing" the hierarchical Composite with the collect() recursive traversal method. VisitorComposite3 is a Visitor implementation.

Highlights. VisitorComposite2 changes interface Component into an abstract class. It requires protected static members. VisitorComposite3 is "open for extension, but closed for modification". The interface Component remains an interface. Now that "collect" is an object, many of them can be created and can operate simultaneously (the previous static attributes would have required significant extra effort to provide this functionality). Drawback: the public interface of Leaf and Composite had to be extended.

interface Component {
    void traverse();

class Leaf implements Component {
    private int number;

    public Leaf(int value) {
        this.number = value;

    public void traverse() {
        System.out.print(number + " ");

class Composite implements Component {
    private static char next = 'a';
    private List children = new ArrayList();
    private char letter = next++;

    public void add(Component c) {

    public void traverse() {
        System.out.print(letter + " ");
        for (Object aChildren : children) {
            ((Component) aChildren).traverse();

public class VisitorDemo {
    public static void main( String[] args ) {
        Composite[] containers = new Composite[3];
        for (int i=0; i < containers.length; i++) {
            containers[i] = new Composite();
            for (int j=1; j < 4; j++) {
                containers[i].add(new Leaf(i * containers.length + j));
        for (int i=1; i < containers.length; i++) {


a 1 2 3 b 4 5 6 c 7 8 9

Code examples

More info, diagrams and examples of the Visitor design pattern you can find on our new partner resource Refactoring.Guru.