Advanced search
1 file | 6.31 MB Add to list

An ontology-based process for domain-specific visual language design

(2017)
Author
Promoter
Giancarlo Guizzardi, Ricardo Falbo and (UGent)
Organization
Abstract
In Conceptual Modeling, there has been a growing interest in Domain-Specifc Visual Modeling Languages (DSVML) and the support they provide for problem domain understanding and communication between stakeholders. Thus, it is important to provide guidelines for designing DSVMLs. For many years, the research focus has been on abstract syntax, whilst concrete syntax has received lower attention. This is unfortunate, because the visual syntax has a significant impact on the efficiency of the communication and problem solving capabilities of conceptual models. One of the most widespread work for analysis and design of visual aspects of modeling languages is the Physics of Notations (PoN). PoN defines a set of principles used for analyzing and designing cognitively effective visual notations. However, PoN has shortcomings, as: (i) it lacks a method to apply its principles; (ii) the design of symbols does not systematically create symbols that reflect entities in the real-world. In this work, we present the Physics of Notations Systematized (PoN-S) for solving shortcoming (i). PoN-S establishes an ordered set of design activities and suggests when to apply the PoN principles. Also, it proposes groups of PoN principles. Another way for improving the DSVML quality involves the application of ontological theories, but can ontologies be successfully applied in the design of concrete syntax as it has been applied for abstract syntax? Guizzardi (2013) proposes some Unified Foundational Ontology (UFO)-based guidelines that helps in the design of visual notations. However, also these guidelines have some shortcomings: (iii) The guidelines are isolated guidelines and not part of a design process; (iv) The set of considered constructs and, thus, the set of ontological distinctions considered is restricted; (v) The ontological guidelines are restricted to be applied in the establishment of the DSVML symbols activity. To solve shortcomings (ii) till (v) we combined the UFO-based guidelines with PoN-S, giving rise to the Physics of Notations Ontologized and Systematized (PoNTO-S). PoNTO-S is a systematic design process of DSVML concrete syntax that connects the concrete syntax and the real-world (i.e., ontological) semantics. This research is a Design Science project with different iterations, each one producing their own artifacts. The design problem faced is the design of DSVML concrete syntaxes. The artifacts, PoN-S and PoNTO-S, were improvements upon two existing solutions of the problem: PoN theory and UFO-based guidelines. These artifacts can be classified as design theories, as they are design processes. Also, we invested in empirical studies. We performed exploratory studies to support the indications collected in the literature review and guide some decisions. After developing releases of PoN-S and PoNTO-S we applied one experiment and two case studies that generated evidences for us to concluded that PoN-S and PoNTO-S are helpful in the language development, and that both approaches can evolve, given rise to more useful approaches.
Em Modelagem Conceitual, tem ocorrido um interesse crescente em Linguagens de Modelagem Visuais Específicas de Domínio (Domain-Specific Visual Modeling Languages (DSVMLs)) e no suporte que elas provêem para compreensão do domínio de um problema e comunicação entre modeladores e interessados. Assim, é importante providenciar diretrizes para o design de DSVMLs. Por muitos anos, o foco de pesquisa tem sido na sintaxe abstrata, enquanto a sintaxe concreta tem recebido menor atenção. Isso é um infortúnio, pois a sintaxe visual impacta significativamente a capacidade de comunicação e de resolução de problemas de modelos conceituais Um dos trabalhos mais disseminados para análise e design de aspectos visuais de linguagens de modelagem é a Física das Notações (PoN). PoN define um conjunto de princípios usado para analisar e projetar notações visuais cognitivamente eficientes. Contudo, PoN tem lacunas, tais como: (i) Falta um método para aplicar seus princípios; (ii) O design de símbolos não cria sistematicamente símbolos que refletem entidades do mundo real. Nesta pesquisa, nós apresentamos a Física das Notações Sistematizada (PoN-S) para resolver a lacuna (i). PoN-S estabelece um conjunto ordenado de atividades de design e sugere quando aplicar os princípios de PoN. Ela também propõe grupos de princípios de PoN. Outra maneira de melhorar a qualidade de DSVMLs é a aplicação de teorias ontológicas, mas ontologias podem ser aplicadas com sucesso no design de sintaxes concretas como tem sido aplicadas para a sintaxe abstrata? Guizzardi (2013) propoem diretrizes ontológicas baseadas na Ontologia de Fundamentação Unificada (UFO) para auxiliar no design de notações visuais. Contudo, tais diretrizes também tem lacunas: (iii) São diretrizes isoladas e não parte de um processo de design; (iv) O conjunto de distinções ontológicas, é restrito; (v) As diretrizes ontológicas são restritas a serem aplicadas no estabelecimento dos símbolos de uma DSVMLs. Para resolver as lacunas (ii) até (v) nós combinamos as diretrizes ontológicas baseadas em UFO com PoN-S, originando a Física das Notações Ontologizada e Sistematizada (PoNTO-S). PoNTO-S é um processo de design sistematizado para sintaxes concretas de DSVMLs que conecta a sintaxe concreta com o significado do mundo-real (isto é, o significado ontológico). Este projeto é um processo de Design Science com diferentes iterações, cada uma produzindo artefatos próprios. O problema de design é o design de sintaxes concretas de DSVMLs. Os artefatos são melhorias de duas soluções existentes: PoN e diretrizes ontológicas baseadas em UFO. PoN-S e PoNTO-S são classificados como teorias de design, visto serem processo de design. Nós também investimos em estudos empíricos. Foram executados estudos exploratórios para dar suporte as indicações coletadas durante a revisão de literatura e guiar algumas decisões. Após desenvolver versões de PoN-S e PoNTO-S nós aplicamos novos estudos empíricos que geraram evidências para concluirmos que PoN-S e PoNTO-S são utéis, e que tais abordagens podem evoluir, dando origem a abordagens ainda mais úteis.
Keywords
Concrete Syntax, Design Process, Domain-Specific Visual Modeling Language, Language Engineering, OntoUML, PoN, UFO, Visual Notation

Downloads

  • PhD Dissertation Maria das Graças da Silva Teixeira.pdf
    • full text
    • |
    • open access
    • |
    • PDF
    • |
    • 6.31 MB

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
da Silva Teixeira, Maria das Graças. “An Ontology-based Process for Domain-specific Visual Language Design.” 2017 : n. pag. Print.
APA
da Silva Teixeira, M. das G. (2017). An ontology-based process for domain-specific visual language design. Federal University of Espírito Santo ; Ghent University. Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vitória-ES, Brazil ; Ghent, Belgium.
Chicago author-date
da Silva Teixeira, Maria das Graças. 2017. “An Ontology-based Process for Domain-specific Visual Language Design”. Vitória-ES, Brazil ; Ghent, Belgium: Federal University of Espírito Santo ; Ghent University. Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
da Silva Teixeira, Maria das Graças. 2017. “An Ontology-based Process for Domain-specific Visual Language Design”. Vitória-ES, Brazil ; Ghent, Belgium: Federal University of Espírito Santo ; Ghent University. Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.
Vancouver
1.
da Silva Teixeira M das G. An ontology-based process for domain-specific visual language design. [Vitória-ES, Brazil ; Ghent, Belgium]: Federal University of Espírito Santo ; Ghent University. Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; 2017.
IEEE
[1]
M. das G. da Silva Teixeira, “An ontology-based process for domain-specific visual language design,” Federal University of Espírito Santo ; Ghent University. Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vitória-ES, Brazil ; Ghent, Belgium, 2017.
@phdthesis{8536094,
  abstract     = {{In Conceptual Modeling, there has been a growing interest in Domain-Specifc Visual Modeling Languages (DSVML) and the support they provide for problem domain understanding and communication between stakeholders. Thus, it is important to provide guidelines for designing DSVMLs. For many years, the research focus has been on abstract syntax, whilst concrete syntax has received lower attention. This is unfortunate, because the visual syntax has a significant impact on the efficiency of the communication and problem solving capabilities of conceptual models.
One of the most widespread work for analysis and design of visual aspects of modeling languages is the Physics of Notations (PoN). PoN defines a set of principles used for analyzing and designing cognitively effective visual notations. However, PoN has shortcomings, as: (i) it lacks a method to apply its principles; (ii) the design of symbols does not systematically create symbols that reflect entities in the real-world.
In this work, we present the Physics of Notations Systematized (PoN-S) for solving shortcoming (i). PoN-S establishes an ordered set of design activities and suggests when to apply the PoN principles. Also, it proposes groups of PoN principles.
Another way for improving the DSVML quality involves the application of ontological theories, but can ontologies be successfully applied in the design of concrete syntax as it has been applied for abstract syntax? Guizzardi (2013) proposes some Unified Foundational Ontology (UFO)-based guidelines that helps in the design of visual notations. However, also these guidelines have some shortcomings: (iii) The guidelines are isolated guidelines and not part of a design process; (iv) The set of considered constructs and, thus, the set of ontological distinctions considered is restricted; (v) The ontological guidelines are restricted to be applied in the establishment of the DSVML symbols activity.
To solve shortcomings (ii) till (v) we combined the UFO-based guidelines with PoN-S, giving rise to the Physics of Notations Ontologized and Systematized (PoNTO-S). PoNTO-S is a systematic design process of DSVML concrete syntax that connects the concrete syntax and the real-world (i.e., ontological) semantics.
This research is a Design Science project with different iterations, each one producing their own artifacts. The design problem faced is the design of DSVML concrete syntaxes. The artifacts, PoN-S and PoNTO-S, were improvements upon two existing solutions of the problem: PoN theory and UFO-based guidelines. These artifacts can be classified as design theories, as they are design processes. Also, we invested in empirical studies. We performed exploratory studies to support the indications collected in the literature review and guide some decisions. After developing releases of PoN-S and PoNTO-S we applied one experiment and two case studies that generated evidences for us to concluded that PoN-S and PoNTO-S are helpful in the language development, and that both approaches can evolve, given rise to more useful approaches.}},
  author       = {{da Silva Teixeira, Maria das Graças}},
  keywords     = {{Concrete Syntax,Design Process,Domain-Specific Visual Modeling Language,Language Engineering,OntoUML,PoN,UFO,Visual Notation}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{247}},
  publisher    = {{Federal University of Espírito Santo ; Ghent University. Faculty of Economics and Business Administration}},
  school       = {{Ghent University}},
  title        = {{An ontology-based process for domain-specific visual language design}},
  year         = {{2017}},
}