Taming Graphical Modeling
Visual models help to understand complex systems. However, with the user interaction paradigms established today, activities such as creating, maintaining or browsing visual models can be very tedious. Valuable engineering time is wasted with archaic activities such as manual placement and routing of nodes and edges. This report presents an approach to enhance productivity by focusing on the pragmatics of model-based design. Our contribution is twofold: First, the concept of meta layout enables the synthesis of different diagrammatic views on graphical models. This modularly employs sophisticated layout algorithms, closing the gap between MDE and graph drawing theory. Second, a view management logic harnesses this auto layout to present customized views on models. These concepts have been implemented in the open source Kiel Integrated Environment for Layout Eclipse Rich Client (KIELER). Two applications---editing and simulation---illustrate how view management helps to increase developer productivity and tame model complexity.
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