VL/HCC 2009
Conference paper

An algorithm for identifying the abstract syntax of graph-based diagrams

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Diagrams play a key role in the information systems domain. However to be meaningful, the diagrams are understood by interpreting visual cues in specific, conventionalized ways, termed conceptual models. One of the major pain points of conceptual models, specified as visual languages, is the inability to capture these visual languages effectively in conventional modeling tools. Instead, conceptual models are drawn using drawing tools and sometimes even by hand. We propose an automatic procedure to derive the syntactic building blocks of graph-based conceptual models. This high-level specification of the visual language can then serve as input for the automatic construction of syntax-aware diagram editors. Our aim is to achieve minimum effort on the part of the users when they eventually work with the graphical editor to produce a new diagram using the proposed syntax. ©2009 IEEE.