State Design Pattern in Scala

1. Definition

The State Design Pattern allows an object to alter its behavior when its internal state changes. The object appears to change its class.

2. Problem Statement

Consider an object that can be in multiple states, and the object's behavior changes based on the current state. Instead of using numerous conditionals or switch statements, which can lead to complex, hard-to-maintain code, a cleaner solution is required.

3. Solution

The State Pattern introduces separate state classes for each individual state, encapsulating state-specific behavior in these classes. The context object contains a reference to the current state and delegates the state-specific behavior to the corresponding state object.

4. Real-World Use Cases

1. Implementing a finite state machine.

2. A traffic light system, where each color represents a different state.

3. Game character with different modes (e.g., walking, running, jumping).

5. Implementation Steps

1. Define a State interface that will encapsulate the behavior associated with a particular state of the Context.

2. Implement concrete State classes that implement the State interface.

3. Define the Context class that contains a reference to the current state and can transition between states.

6. Implementation in Scala Programming

// Step 1: Define the State trait
trait State {
  def handle(context: Context): Unit
// Step 2: Implement concrete State classes
class ConcreteStateA extends State {
  def handle(context: Context): Unit = {
    println("In State A")
    context.state = new ConcreteStateB
class ConcreteStateB extends State {
  def handle(context: Context): Unit = {
    println("In State B")
    context.state = new ConcreteStateA
// Step 3: Define the Context class
class Context(var state: State) {
  def request(): Unit = state.handle(this)
// Client and Tester
object StateClient extends App {
  val context = new Context(new ConcreteStateA)


In State A
In State B


1. The State trait defines the basic contract for all states. Every state needs to provide an implementation for the handle method.

2. The concrete State classes (ConcreteStateA and ConcreteStateB) implement the handle method. When the handle method is called, it performs state-specific actions and transitions the context to a new state.

3. The Context class holds a reference to the current state. It delegates the request to the current state object's handle method.

4. The client code creates a Context with an initial state (ConcreteStateA) and then makes two requests. The state transitions from ConcreteStateA to ConcreteStateB and back to ConcreteStateA.

7. When to use?

The State pattern is useful when:

1. An object's behavior depends on its state, and it must change its behavior at runtime depending on that state.

2. Operations have large, multi-part conditional statements that depend on the object's state. The pattern can help organize the code related to particular states into separate classes.

3. The state-specific logic can be localized and kept separate from the main context.