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Visual Languages, Proceedings., 11th IEEE International Symposium on

Date 5-9 Sept. 1995

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 52
  • Proceedings of Symposium on Visual Languages

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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Index of Authors

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    Presents an index of the authors whose papers are published in the conference. View full abstract»

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  • The use of semantic constraints on diagram editors

    Page(s): 211 - 216
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    Current software tools supporting diagramming notations are not satisfactory. Editors for diagramming notations such as state transition networks, Petri nets or the entity-relationship data model, are always confronted with a problem: how much guidance should be given to the user throughout the editing task? Not enough guidance allows the diagram to evolve to nonplausible configurations and may provoke the user to feel lost in the editing process. At the other extreme, if too much guidance is provided the user feels like being shepherded through the diagram drawing; this results in an obtrusive and unfriendly system. Current tools normally offer a trade-off solution based on the introduction of some semantic constraints in the diagram editor to forbid a number of operations. To assert the correctness of the diagram, the reset must explicitly request it to be checked. I believe this solution is not satisfactory. All the semantic constraints should be embedded in the editor in order to allow automatic diagram validation. The challenge is: how to do it without limiting the user's freedom during the editing task? I propose an approach that provides a solution to this problem View full abstract»

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  • The design of Anthropocentric Cooperative Visual Environments

    Page(s): 334 - 341
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    An Anthropocentric Cooperative Visual Environment is designed to improve system performances by empowering the working capabilities of its human users. Its design results in the definition of a system of visual languages adequate for user-system communication. The notion of adequacy is discussed based on the concept of shape abstraction. A procedure for ACVE design is described and its use illustrated by examples from a working experience View full abstract»

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  • Transforming SDL diagrams into a complete visual representation

    Page(s): 148 - 155
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    We investigate a translation of SDL diagrams into the complete visual representation of Pictorial Janus (PJ) programs in order to analyze the specification by visual debugging and animation. We additionally introduce timing concepts to PJ (Timed PJ) for a mapping of the SDL timing statements. The concepts transforming SDL interaction and process diagrams into Timed PJ are outlined by an example sketching the transformation of an Ethernet CSMA/CD protocol specification View full abstract»

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  • Object-oriented dataflow

    Page(s): 180 - 186
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    In our efforts to develop an object-oriented visual programming language, the dataflow model of computation is extended from its traditional functional model to an object-oriented model. It is argued that the concept of subroutine in the object-oriented model requires two different types of calling (activation) mechanisms, the synchronous call and the asynchronous call. Asynchronous subroutine call offers a new abstraction mechanism for object-oriented programming, different from the traditional class-based abstraction and functional abstraction View full abstract»

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  • Bending the rules: steps toward semantically enriched graphical rewrite rules

    Page(s): 226 - 233
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    Graphical rewrite rules, as a form of end user programming, suffer from their implicit underlying model. Interpretation of rewrite rules limited to syntactic properties makes it laborious for end users to define non-trivial behavior. Semantically enriched graphical rewrite rules have increased expressiveness resulting in a significantly reduced number of rewrite rules. This reduction is essential in order to keep rewrite rule based programming approaches feasible for end user programming. The extension of the rewrite rule model with semantics not only benefits the definition of behavior but additionally it supports the entire visual programming process. Specifically the benefits include support for defining object look, laying out scenes consisting of dependent objects, defining behavior with a reduced number of rewrite rules, and reusing existing behaviors via rewrite rule analogies. These benefits are described in the context of the Agentsheets programming substrate View full abstract»

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  • Online parsing of visual languages using adjacency grammars

    Page(s): 250 - 257
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    Visual computing environments continue to grow in importance, yet fast, general parsing algorithms for visual languages remain elusive. In this paper, we present an incremental parsing algorithm for a broad class of visual languages which do not contain overlapping elements. Our algorithm is based on the concept of adjacency grammars, where adjacencies are defined so as to encompass both spatial and logical constraints. Our approach combines bottom-up and top-down methods to support incremental parsing of visual input, allowing for measurably efficient online parsing of diagram-like visual languages, with observed linear run-times for large visual sentences View full abstract»

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  • Formalising visual languages

    Page(s): 45 - 52
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    We propose a formalisation of visual languages which allows a uniform approach to satisfying the needs of pattern recognition, image generation, and visual reasoning faced in visual human-computer communication. Such needs comprise managing the full screen image as seen on the computer display, handling interpretation of icons even when ambiguous, or generating multiple representations to convey one same meaning as required by different users for diverse tasks. We also formalise the way the machine associates a computational meaning with an image (including the whole screen image), and conversely, the way it generates an image on the screen from a computation. A definition of visual sentence as interpreted image is proposed, and the visual language is viewed as a set of visual sentences in a user-computer dialogue. Examples of how the proposed formalism is suitable for ambiguity control and multiple representations of meanings are provided View full abstract»

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  • Improving readability of iconic programs with multiple view object representation

    Page(s): 37 - 44
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    One of the most important advantages of an iconic programming language is its readability. In order to improve the readability of complicated iconic programs with many wire intersections and loops, we introduce a technique called “multiple view object representation”. It means that one program component can be represented as a number of nodes, i.e., it provides layout flexibility. By using the flexibility, programmers can transform a complicated iconic program into a number of simple iconic programs. An iconic programming system was implemented based on the technique and evaluated through practical application construction. The evaluation illustrated that the technique greatly reduces anti-readability factors, such as loops and wire intersections, of complicated programs View full abstract»

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  • Buffering of intermediate results in dataflow diagrams

    Page(s): 187 - 194
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    Buffering of intermediate results in dataflow diagrams can significantly reduce latency when a user browses these results or re-executes a diagram with slightly different inputs. We define the optimal buffer allocation problem of determining the buffer contents which minimize the average response time to such user requests. We show that this problem has several characteristics which render traditional latency reduction techniques ineffective. Since optimal buffer allocation is NP-hard, we propose heuristic methods for buffer management of intermediate results. We present a simulation of the behavior of these heuristics under a variety of conditions, varying graph structure and access pattern. We argue that history mechanisms which track user access patterns can be used to improve performance. We further show that graph structure and access pattern determine the factor of improvement which is possible. The performance enhancements we describe can be applied to minimize query response time in visual dataflow languages. We examine strategies for buffering of intermediate results in dataflow diagrams in the context of Tioga a graphical application development tool View full abstract»

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  • A bottom-up approach for visualizing program behavior

    Page(s): 91 - 98
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    Visualization of program execution is generally beneficial for programmers to understand the program. However, there exist only a limited number of visualization systems which can be used for practical applications. The main focus of the traditional visualization systems is on how to make concrete pictures, and they are customized for specific application domains. Therefore, the existing visualization systems cannot be easily used for a wide range of applications. We propose an alternative framework for program visualization based on a bottom-up approach. A conventional top-down manner for designing a concrete final picture is not used here. Instead, our system draws an abstract picture as a set of local pictures by applying local drawing rules. We also introduced a scaling mechanism that prevents overflowing or overdrawing. The proposed framework also enables us to see a conceptual structure of the program naturally. A prototype system is developed by using the Scheme interpreter. Examples of visualization by the system are shown View full abstract»

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  • Towards a visual programming environment generator for algebraic specifications

    Page(s): 234 - 241
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    In the visual languages community there has been a growing consensus that visual languages will be most successful in the case of special purpose languages. Furthermore, their success will largely depend on the programming environment which is provided for them. Programming environment generators, generate programming environments for formally specified languages. We discuss specification of visual languages and the generation of visual environments. We focus on a picture definition language, VODL, which serves as the basis for defining the syntax of visual languages. We present the language definition and an example showing how VODL is used in defining language syntax and thereafter generating visual editors. Finally, we discuss how to extend this approach in creating a visual specification formalism and a supporting environment for specifying the syntax and semantics of visual languages View full abstract»

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  • The next generation of command line interfaces

    Page(s): 29 - 36
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    The move to WIMPS interfaces has delivered excellent models and interfaces for simple operations on personal computers. Unfortunately, this has not been matched by the development of models and interfaces for the operations required in more complex systems, traditionally provided by applications such as the “csh,” and more recently AppleScript. We introduce and demonstrate the use of the Prograph system, together with a sample of suitable utilities, as the appropriate tool for shell-type operations in a WIMPS environment View full abstract»

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  • Automatic parallelization of the visual data-flow language Cantata for efficient characterization of analog circuit behavior

    Page(s): 69 - 76
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    The paper presents a new approach to the characterization of analog circuits based on the visual data-flow language Cantata which has been augmented with some application specific functions and control operators. For the reduction of execution time a new data-flow scheduler for a distributed environment is proposed. The scheduler takes information about usable workstations and their performance, program availability and the actual workloads into consideration to achieve a load balancing which results in shorter execution times. This process is fully automated View full abstract»

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  • Visual programming with graph rewriting systems

    Page(s): 326 - 333
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    The multi-paradigm language PROGRES is the first rule-oriented visual language which has a well-defined type concept and supports programming with graph rewriting systems. To some extent, it has the flavor of a visual database programming language with powerful pattern matching and replacing facilities as well as backtracking capabilities. Until now, it was mainly used for specifying and rapid prototyping of abstract data types in software engineering environments. An integrated set of language-specific tools supports intertwined editing, analyzing, browsing, and debugging of specifications as well as generating prototypes in C (Modula-2) with Tcl/Tk-based user interfaces View full abstract»

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  • The visual language of experts in graphic design

    Page(s): 5 - 12
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    Graphic designers and other visual problem solving experts now routinely use computer-based image-editing tools in their work. Recently, attempts have been made to apply learning and inference techniques from artificial intelligence techniques to graphical editors in order to provide intelligent assistance to design professionals. The success of these attempts will depend on whether the programs can successfully capture the design knowledge of their users. But what is the nature of this knowledge? Because AI techniques have usually been applied in such areas as medicine or engineering rather than visual design, little is known about how design knowledge might differ from knowledge in other fields. This paper reports the results of an informal knowledge engineering study to try to understand how knowledge is communicated between humans in graphic design. Nowhere is the process of design communication more critical than in teaching beginning designers, since the effectiveness of the communication is crucial to the success of the student. The study examined books intended to teach graphic design to novices, and tried to analyze the nature of the communication with a view toward applying the results to a knowledge acquisition system for graphic design applications View full abstract»

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  • Progressive HTTP-based querying of remote databases within the Marmotta iconic VQS

    Page(s): 122 - 125
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    The Marmotta system described serves as a graphical interface for querying remote databases which have already been provided with a software layer to communicate with the WWW world. It can be used as a convenient alternative to the forms embedded within the WWW clients. Within Marmotta, icons are used to present the domain of interest and the retrieval requests in an original way, and are managed by the user in a direct manipulation style. The ease-of-use characterizing form-based interfaces is preserved (users need not know the structure of the database) while expressive power is greatly increased. Moreover, Marmotta provides comfortable mechanisms for browsing, manipulating and reusing query results as well as previous queries, thus strongly supporting non-motonic, progressive query processes View full abstract»

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  • Adaptive recognition of implicit structures in human-organized layouts

    Page(s): 258 - 266
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    Card-handling using a hypertext editor can be a powerful methodology for the generation of ideas or understanding complex problems. To support such an activity, recognizing the implicit structure in the arrangement of cards would be useful, but, because the structures to be recognized are by nature ambiguous and highly dependent on user-specific perception, it is difficult for a conventional rule-based spatial parsing algorithm to achieve this task. We propose techniques for building a spatial parser suitable for finding such ambiguous structures based on the mechanics of human perception. Moreover, our parser is adaptively customized to reflect a particular user's preferences through an interactive suggestion process, supported by the application of a genetic algorithm View full abstract»

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  • A high-level visual language for the graphical description of digital circuits

    Page(s): 77 - 82
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    The design of digital circuits has much in common with the design of software structures. Like programming language systems, digital design systems must have expressive power sufficient for representing any circuit. Since specifying complex circuits requires repetitive and conditional structures analogous to iteration, recursion and conditionals in programs, languages for designing complex devices are usually based on textual programming languages, as with the hardware description language VHDL. The advent of full-featured visual programming languages, however, raises the possibility we consider here: that mechanisms used to visually express compact and powerful program structures could be generalised to digital circuit design View full abstract»

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  • Programming agents with visual rules

    Page(s): 13 - 20
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    A visual programming facility is described which is based on a visual rule formalism. It permits programmers to specify the behaviors of agents in the class of program objects in the Agentsheets system of Repenning. The resulting agents can be used in designing simulations for two-dimensional cellular worlds such as in automobile traffic flow situations, video games, and cellular automata studies. The programming facility, called “Agent Builder”, is integrated into the Agentsheets system (providing a substitute for the non-visual AgenTalk editor) in such a way that agent programming becomes a process of arranging icons in a worksheet, using a special gallery of icons. Several applications of Agent Builder are presented, and its limitations and possible extensions are discussed View full abstract»

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  • ViTABaL: a visual language supporting design by tool abstraction

    Page(s): 53 - 60
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    We describe a visual language and environment for designing and implementing systems using the tool abstraction paradigm. This paradigm permits systems to be constructed from toolie and abstract data structure components, using an event response mechanism to handle inter-component interaction. This approach leads to systems more easily adapted to functional specification changes than with conventional design View full abstract»

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  • Constraint-based layout in visual program design

    Page(s): 116 - 117
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    Visual program layout and program visualization make a number of useful contributions for all kinds of graphical editing tasks. We describe the constraint-based graphical editor InLay that automatically handles aspects of display layout in visual programming environments. Furthermore, innovative visualization and interaction techniques for dynamic displays can generate new insights and can be seen as a new quality of communication media. We concentrate on the intelligent use of visualization techniques: animated layout of chart diagrams, abstracting presentation parts, focussing of active display objects, editing graphical histories, and the visualization of hierarchical information structures View full abstract»

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  • Integrating algorithm animation into a declarative visual programming language

    Page(s): 126 - 127
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    Until now, only users of textual programming languages have enjoyed the fruits of algorithm animation. Users of visual programming languages (VPLs) have been deprived of the unique semantic insights algorithm animation offers. To begin solving this shortcoming, we have seamlessly integrated algorithm animation capabilities into the VPL Forms/3. Our research shows how a declarative VPL that is responsive can provide features not found in other algorithm animation systems View full abstract»

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  • Visual programming for animation in user interfaces

    Page(s): 131 - 132
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    We present the visual programming features of the HandMove system, which creates independent animated elements to be integrated in user interfaces constructed with a classical interface builder. Its underlying model is based on path-oriented animation, driven by time signals, application values or user input and supports advanced features such as position/attribute constraints and event-based synchronisation. HandMove exclusively uses interactive animation specification and defines a concise but meaningful visual representation of animation View full abstract»

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