Towards a formalization of constraint diagrams

Gil, Joseph (Yossi), Howse, John and Kent, Stuart (2001) Towards a formalization of constraint diagrams In: Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Human Centric Computing Languages and Environments, Stresa, Italy, 5-7 September, 2001.

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Geared to complement UML and to the specification of large software systems by non-mathematicians, constraint diagrams are a visual language that generalizes the popular and intuitive Venn diagrams and Euler circles, and adds facilities for quantifying over elements and navigating relations. The language design emphasizes scalability and expressiveness while retaining intuitiveness. Spider diagrams form a subset of the notation, leaving out universal quantification and the ability to navigate relations. Spider diagrams have been given a formal definition. This paper extends that definition to encompass the constraint diagram notation. The formalization of constraint diagrams is non-trivial: it exposes subtleties concerned with the implicit ordering of symbols in the visual language, which were not evident before a formal definition of the language was attempted. This has led to an improved design of the language.

Item Type: Contribution to conference proceedings in the public domain ( Full Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Visual formalisms; software specification; formal methods
Subjects: G000 Computing and Mathematical Sciences
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1109/HCC.2001.995241
Faculties: Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics > Visual Modelling
Depositing User: Converis
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2015 15:47

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