HCI Bibliography Home | HCI Journals | About VLC | Journal Info | VLC Journal Volumes | Detailed Records | RefWorks | EndNote | Hide Abstracts
VLC Tables of Contents: 16171819202122232425

Journal of Visual Languages & Computing 23

Editors:S.-K. Chang; Stefano Levialdi
Dates:2012
Volume:23
Publisher:Elsevier
Standard No:ISSN: 1045-926X
Papers:26
Links:Table of Contents
  1. VLC 2012-02 Volume 23 Issue 1
  2. VLC 2012-04 Volume 23 Issue 2
  3. VLC 2012-06 Volume 23 Issue 3
  4. VLC 2012-08 Volume 23 Issue 4
  5. VLC 2012-10 Volume 23 Issue 5
  6. VLC 2012-12 Volume 23 Issue 6

VLC 2012-02 Volume 23 Issue 1

Soft tissue deformation with reaction-diffusion process for surgery simulation BIBAKFull-Text 1-12
  Yongmin Zhong; Bijan Shirinzadeh; Julian Smith; Chengfan Gu
This paper presents a new methodology to conduct modelling and analysis of soft tissue deformation from the physicochemical viewpoint of soft tissues for surgery simulation. The novelty of this methodology is that soft tissue deformation is converted into a reaction-diffusion process coupled with a mechanical load, and thus reaction-diffusion of mechanical load and non-rigid mechanics of motion are combined to govern the dynamics of soft tissue deformation. The mechanical load applied to a soft tissue to cause a deformation is incorporated into the reaction-diffusion system and consequently distributed among mass points of the soft tissue. An improved reaction-diffusion model is developed to describe the distribution of the mechanical load in the tissue. A generic finite difference scheme is presented for construction of the reaction-diffusion model on a 3D tissue surface. A gradient method is established for derivation of internal forces from the distribution of the mechanical load. Real-time interactive deformation of virtual human organs with haptic feedback has been achieved by the proposed methodology for surgery simulation. The proposed methodology not only accommodates isotropic, anisotropic and inhomogeneous materials by simply modifying diffusion coefficients, but also accepts local and large-range deformations simultaneously.
Keywords: Soft tissue deformation; Surgery simulation; Reaction-diffusion process and haptic feedback
User-centric adaptation of Web information for small screens BIBAKFull-Text 13-28
  Hamed Ahmadi; Jun Kong
A global increase in PDA and cell phone ownership and a rise in the use of wireless services lead mobile browsing to become an important means of Internet access. However, mobile devices have a small screen, which limits the usability of mobile browsing. This paper presents a novel method that automatically adapts a desktop presentation to a mobile presentation, proceeding in two steps: detecting boundaries among different information blocks (i.e., page segmentation) and then generating a user preferred adaptive layout. Distinct from other approaches, our approach analyzes both the DOM structure and the visual layout to detect closely related contents. In the process of page segmentation, our approach first divides a Web page into several common areas (such as top, bottom, and main content), and then further identifies different topics in the main content based on the visual and structural analysis. The page segmentation produces a block tree, which represents the information organization underlying a Web page. Based on the block tree, an adaptive layout, which places closely related information in proximity and minimizes scrolling, is automatically generated. All current approaches support only one fixed style (e.g., a narrow-page style) to render an adaptive layout for a diverse range of users, Websites, and devices. This "one size fits all" strategy could not offer universal usability. Our approach supports a user to flexibly specify the style of an adaptive layout according to his/her personal preferences. The theoretical foundation of such a user-centric adaptive layout is a feature space, which specifies an adaptive layout from different aspects, such as the location and presentation of navigation options. A user can visually manipulate those features to create a personalized style in a graphical user interface, and then an adaptive layout consistent with the personalized style is automatically generated. The user study based on a prototype shows the usability and efficiency of mobile browsing are significantly improved.
Keywords: Adaptive layouts; Mobile browsing; Presentation adaptation
A new force-directed graph drawing method based on edge-edge repulsion BIBAKFull-Text 29-42
  Chun-Cheng Lin; Hsu-Chun Yen
The conventional force-directed methods for drawing undirected graphs are based on either vertex-vertex repulsion or vertex-edge repulsion. In this paper, we propose a new force-directed method based on edge-edge repulsion to draw graphs. In our framework, edges are modelled as charged springs, and a final drawing can be generated by adjusting positions of vertices according to spring forces and the repulsive forces, derived from potential fields, among edges. Different from the previous methods, our new framework has the advantage of overcoming the problem of zero angular resolution, guaranteeing the absence of any overlapping of edges incident to the common vertex. Given graph layouts probably generated by previous algorithms as the inputs to our algorithm, experimental results reveal that our approach produces promising drawings not only preserving the original properties of a high degree of symmetry and uniform edge length, but also preventing zero angular resolution and usually having larger average angular resolution. However, it should be noted that exhibiting a higher degree of symmetry and larger average angular resolution does not come without a price, as the new approach might result in the increase in undesirable overlapping of vertices as some of our experimental results indicate. To ease the problem of node overlapping, we also consider a hybrid approach which takes into account both edge-edge and vertex-vertex repulsive forces in drawing a graph.
Keywords: Force-directed method; Potential field; Angular resolution

VLC 2012-04 Volume 23 Issue 2

Special issue dedicated to Prof. Piero Mussio

Foreword BIBFull-Text 45-46
 
A meta-design approach to the development of e-government services BIBAKFull-Text 47-62
  Daniela Fogli; Loredana Parasiliti Provenza
This paper describes a meta-design approach to the development of online services for citizens of a government agency. The goal is to transfer the development of government-to-citizen services from professional software developers to administrative employees, without forcing employees to acquire any programming skills. The approach encompasses two main phases. The first phase analyzes the different perspectives of the stakeholders involved in service creation and usage -- employees, citizens, software developers and human-computer interaction specialists -- in order to derive a meta-model of e-government services. The latter applies the meta-model to design and develop an end-user development environment that properly supports employees in creating an instance of the service meta-model, which is then automatically interpreted to generate the service pages for citizens. A pilot application of the proposed approach is illustrated with reference to a specific class of e-government services offered by the Brescia Municipality, even though the approach is general enough to be applied to different kinds of e-government services and application domains. The results of the evaluation with a group of municipality employees provide initial feedback from the government field and show how to proceed along this research direction.
Keywords: End-user development; Meta-design; e-government; Interaction design
From real to metaphoric maps: Cartography as a visual language for organizing and sharing knowledge BIBAKFull-Text 63-77
  Augusto Celentano; Fabio Pittarello
In this paper we discuss about geographic representations as a basis for describing, organizing, accessing and understanding heterogeneous shared information on the web. Maps are popular on the web, because of the reference to space, the most important domain of human experience, the proliferation of location aware devices and services and the availability of a set of tools that enable an heterogeneous population of users to explore and even modify these representations.
   Metaphorical maps, representing concepts and relations of a specific knowledge domain with symbols taken from another well known and widely used domain, couple the benefits of cartographic representation with the power and intuitiveness of the metaphor, permitting the communication and sharing of such knowledge.
   We introduce a classification of maps based on antinomies between real and imaginary worlds, and between direct and metaphoric knowledge; we argue that cartography can be used as a visual language for organizing and sharing knowledge related to different semantic domains, supporting our arguments with examples. Finally, we define a set of functions and related data structures able to support a user in browsing cartographic representations using state-of-art tools and systems available on the web.
Keywords: Geographic web; Knowledge representation; Map; Metaphor; Navigation
End users as co-designers of their own tools and products BIBAKFull-Text 78-90
  Carmelo Ardito; Paolo Buono; Maria Francesca Costabile; Rosa Lanzilotti; Antonio Piccinno
In our Age of exponential technological advance, recent developments are determining an evolution of end users from passive information consumers into information producers. Users are increasingly willing and, indeed, determined to shape the software they use to tailor it to their own needs. Based on a brief review of research activities we performed in the last decade, this paper analyzes some challenges that software designers face to comply with the new roles of end users in the software life cycle, and discusses how to provide end users with software environments that empower them to become co-designers of their own tools and products. The examples reported in the paper show why and how end users are involved in design activities in various application domains.
Keywords: End-user development; Meta-design; Design model
Spatial and temporal aspects in visual interaction BIBAKFull-Text 91-102
  Paolo Bottoni; Anna Labella; Stefano Kasangian
The formal modeling of visual interaction processes, where images are composed by placing elementary pictures on a rectangular space, has to take into account both temporal and spatial aspects. Time is relevant in that some moves are enabled or disabled by previous ones, while for the spatial aspect one can impose constraints on the positions which can be occupied by certain pictures. Interaction can then be seen as a sort of visual game, in which players have to synchronise their moves in order to make the interaction progress. However, due to this dual nature, traditional models of concurrent computation are not sufficient to give reason of specific types of non-determinism encountered in visual interaction processes. We propose a characterisation of visual interaction in terms of games, and show that the algebraic structure derived from the association of temporal and spatial structures is canonically associated with a system of logics, in which the limitations on the possible inferences imposed by this type of non-determinism can be adequately expressed. Moreover, the logics can be naturally extended by the introduction of operators which simultaneously model both temporal and modal qualifications of formulae. In particular, it becomes possible to give a formal account of the "surprises" experienced by users in visual interaction processes or, equivalently, by players of visual games.
Keywords: Visual interaction; Logics; Visual games
Participatory knowledge-management design: A semiotic approach BIBAKFull-Text 103-115
  Stefano Valtolina; Barbara Rita Barricelli; Yvonne Dittrich
The aim of this paper is to present a design strategy for collaborative knowledge-management systems based on a semiotic approach. The contents and structure of experts' knowledge is highly dependent on professional or individual practice. Knowledge-management systems that support cooperation between experts from different (sub-)fields need to be situated and tailored to provide effective support even if the common aspects of the data need to be described by ontologies that are generic in respect to the sub-disciplines involved. To understand and approach this design problem, we apply a semiotic perspective to computer application and human-computer interaction. From a semiotic perspective, the computer application is both a message from the designer to the user about the structure of the problem domain, as well as about interaction with it, and a structured channel for the user's communication with herself, himself or other users of the software. Tailoring or "end-user development" -- i.e. adapting the knowledge-management system to a specific (sub-)discipline, task or context -- then refines both the message and adapts the structure of the interaction to the situated requirements.
   The essential idea of this paper is to define a new perspective for designing and developing interactive systems to support collaborative knowledge management. The key concept is to involve domain experts in participatory knowledge design for mapping and translating their professional models into the proper vocabularies, notations, and suitable visual structures for navigating among interface elements. To this end, the paper describes how our semiotic approach supports processes for representing, storing, accessing, and transferring knowledge through which the information architecture of an interactive system can be defined. Finally, the results of applying our approach to a real-world case in an archaeological context are presented.
Keywords: Knowledge-management; Computer semiotics; Semiotic engineering; Ontology-based model; Participatory design; Co-design
The semiotic turn BIBAKFull-Text 116-119
  Clarisse Sieckenius de Souza
This paper reports the author's personal collaboration with Piero Mussio. It begins with an analysis of Mussio's increasing involvement with semiotic concepts while working with visual languages. In conclusion, the author proposes follow-up questions, in continuation to an ongoing intellectual conversation that current and future researchers may help to sustain.
Keywords: Computational Semiotics; Semiotic Engineering

VLC 2012-06 Volume 23 Issue 3

Spanish Sign Language synthesis system BIBAKFull-Text 121-136
  Fernando López-Colino; José Colás
This work presents a new approach to the synthesis of Spanish Sign Language (LSE). Its main contributions are the use of a centralized relational database for storing sign descriptions, the proposal of a new input notation and a new avatar design, the skeleton structure of which improves the synthesis process.
   The relational database facilitates a highly detailed phonologic description of the signs that include parameter synchronization and timing. The centralized database approach has been introduced to allow the representation of each sign to be validated by the LSE National Institution, FCNSE.
   The input notation, designated HLSML, presents multiple levels of abstraction compared with current input notations. Redesigned input notation is used to simplify the description and the manual definition of LSE messages.
   Synthetic messages obtained using our approach have been evaluated by deaf users; in this evaluation a maximum recognition rate of 98.5% was obtained for isolated signs and a recognition rate of 95% was achieved for signed sentences.
Keywords: Animated conversational agent; Spanish Sign Language
Star-like auto-configurable layouts of variable radius for visualizing and exploring RDF/S ontologies BIBAKFull-Text 137-153
  Stamatis Zampetakis; Yannis Tzitzikas; Asterios Leonidis; Dimitris Kotzinos
The visualization of ontologies is a challenging task especially if they are large. In this paper we propose a visualization approach which is based on star-like graphs of variable radius which enables users to gradually explore and navigate through the entire ontology without overloading them. The star-like graphs are visualized using a Force Directed Placement algorithm (FDP) specially suited for RDF schemas whose configuration parameters can be adjusted interactively by the end-user via an intuitive on-screen tool bar. In addition, and since each star-like graph exhibits different graph features, we propose a novel automatic configuration method for the FDP algorithm parameters that is based on a number of quality metrics (area density and verticality of subclass hierarchies) and corresponding corrective actions. The experimental evaluation showed the quality of the yielded layout is significantly improved and the proposed approach is acceptably fast for real-time exploration. The user study showed that users prefer these views and perform various very common tasks faster.
Keywords: Force directed graph layout algorithms; RDFS ontologies
A graph mining approach for detecting unknown malwares BIBAKFull-Text 154-162
  Mojtaba Eskandari; Sattar Hashemi
Nowadays malware is one of the serious problems in the modern societies. Although the signature based malicious code detection is the standard technique in all commercial antivirus softwares, it can only achieve detection once the virus has already caused damage and it is registered. Therefore, it fails to detect new malwares (unknown malwares). Since most of malwares have similar behavior, a behavior based method can detect unknown malwares. The behavior of a program can be represented by a set of called API's (application programming interface). Therefore, a classifier can be employed to construct a learning model with a set of programs' API calls. Finally, an intelligent malware detection system is developed to detect unknown malwares automatically. On the other hand, we have an appealing representation model to visualize the executable files structure which is control flow graph (CFG). This model represents another semantic aspect of programs. This paper presents a robust semantic based method to detect unknown malwares based on combination of a visualize model (CFG) and called API's. The main contribution of this paper is extracting CFG from programs and combining it with extracted API calls to have more information about executable files. This new representation model is called API-CFG. In addition, to have fast learning and classification process, the control flow graphs are converted to a set of feature vectors by a nice trick. Our approach is capable of classifying unseen benign and malicious code with high accuracy. The results show a statistically significant improvement over n-grams based detection method.
Keywords: Malware; Detection; Unknown malwares; PE-file; CFG; API
Automatically drawing Euler diagrams with circles BIBAKFull-Text 163-193
  Gem Stapleton; Jean Flower; Peter Rodgers; John Howse
Euler diagrams are used for visualizing categorized data. These categories, together with information about when categories share some datum, can be turned into a succinct diagram description from which an Euler diagram can be generated. Closed curves represent the categories and the relationships between the curves (such as containment) correspond to relationships between the categories (such as subset). A range of automated Euler diagram drawing methods have been proposed but they often produce diagrams that are aesthetically unpleasing, can be computationally complex and most of them cannot draw a diagram for some (often many) given collections of categories. One such method is capable of drawing aesthetically pleasing Euler diagrams, using only circles, and is computationally efficient (being of polynomial time complexity) but it applies to a very restricted subset of collections of categorized data. This paper substantially extends that method so it can always draw an Euler diagram, that is it applies to all collections of categorized data. In particular, we identify a class of diagram descriptions that can be drawn with circles, generalizing previous work. For diagram descriptions outside of this class, we define transformations that can be used to turn them into descriptions inside the 'drawable with circles' class. We demonstrate how such transformations can be done in a general, a process during which many choices must be made. Further, we provide strategies for making particular choices which ensure desirable properties, such as curve containment, are preserved. We have provided a software implementation of the drawing method, which is freely available from www.eulerdiagrams.com/inductivecircles.htm.
Keywords: Euler diagrams; Information visualization; Non-hierarchical data visualization; Venn diagrams

VLC 2012-08 Volume 23 Issue 4

Evaluating a graphical notation for modelling software development methodologies BIBAKFull-Text 195-212
  Kenia Sousa; Jean Vanderdonckt; Brian Henderson-Sellers; Cesar Gonzalez-Perez
This work aims at evaluating a graphical notation for modelling software (and other kinds of) development methodologies, thus demonstrating how useful the graphical aspects can be for sharing knowledge between the people responsible for documenting information and those responsible for understanding and putting it into practice. We acknowledge the importance of having a common set of symbols that can be used to create, use and disseminate information for a larger audience than is possible today with a variety of alternatives and lack of a common ground. Using a cognitive dimensions framework, we make a standard evaluation of the elements and diagrams of the notation proposed to support the ISO/IEC 24744 methodology metamodel standard, considering the trade-offs between different dimensions. We suggest improvements to this existing notation based on this analysis, in the context of improving communication between creators and users of methodologies.
Keywords: Software development methodologies; Method engineering; Graphical notation; Cognitive dimensions
Probability issues in locality descriptions based on Voronoi neighbor relationship BIBAKFull-Text 213-222
  Yongxi Gong; Lun Wu; Yaoyu Lin; Yu Liu
Spatial relationships play an important role in spatial knowledge representation, such as in describing localities. However, little attention has been paid to how to describe the position of a target object (TO) with a qualitative referencing system that consists of a set of reference objects (ROs) in the locality description context. We propose a method that accounts for the differences between two scenarios in locality descriptions. This method is probabilistic and is based on the Voronoi neighbor relationship to determine candidate ROs for describing a given TO's position in the second scenario. The Voronoi neighbor relationship is adopted to determine candidate ROs of a TO and to compute the neighboring area of an RO. A probability function is presented to model the uncertainty of selecting appropriate ROs. To build locality descriptions that are consistent with commonsense, four constraints are placed on the probability function. Two probability functions based on Euclidean distance and stolen-area, and a mixed probability function that considers both Euclidean distance and stolen-area, are analyzed and compared. With the mixed probability function, we establish a method to construct the locality description of a given TO. Finally, three examples demonstrate how to select ROs to describe a TO's position.
Keywords: Voronoi diagram; Probability function; Locality description; Voronoi neighbor relationship
Modeling functional requirements for configurable content- and context-aware dynamic service selection in business process models BIBAKFull-Text 223-247
  Ales Frece; Matjaz B. Juric
In this article, we propose a meta-model for formal specification of functional requirements for configurable content- and context-aware dynamic service selection in business process models with the objective to enable greater flexibility of the modeled processes. The dynamic service selection can cope with highly dynamic business environments that today's business processes must handle. Modeling functional requirements for dynamic service selection in business process models is not well covered in literature. Some partial solutions exist but none of them allows modeling a complete set of functional requirements for the selection similar to the one we are addressing in this article. Our meta-model enables formal specification of service selection relevant data extracted from service request message, custom configuration data (e.g., thresholds), process and task definition/instance metadata, and service selection rules. The meta-model is configurable and content- and context-aware. Processes leveraging our meta-model can adapt to changing requirements without redesign of the process flow. Proposed meta-model allows users to additionally configure the models at run time (e.g., raising a threshold). Modeling can be divided into roles with different required competences. We implement our meta-model in BPMN 2.0 (Business Process Model and Notation) through specific extensions to the BPMN semantic and diagram elements. By measuring complexity of real-world sample process models we show that using our solution modelers can efficiently model business processes that need to address frequent changing demands. Compared to available alternatives, models using our solution have on average 13% fewer activities, 16% fewer control-flow elements and 22% fewer control paths. By reading 10% smaller models (by volume) model readers get more flexible process models that capture all functional requirements for the dynamic selection.
Keywords: Business process model; Functional requirement; Dynamic service selection; Content/context awareness; BPMN

VLC 2012-10 Volume 23 Issue 5

A time cost optimization for similar scenarios mobile GIS queries BIBAKFull-Text 249-266
  Haifa Elsidani Elariss; Souheil Khaddaj
Query optimization strategies have been recently employed for various types of queries such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in particular Location Based Services and proximity analysis. This work proposes a new decision making mechanism called Time Cost Optimizer (TCOP) which aims to effectively reduce the cost of execution for multiple mobile GIS queries. TCOP is implemented in order to employ the new paradigm Sharing Global Execution Plans (GEP) where multiple users share the previously melted templates. It is integrated as a new component of the Query Melting Processor (QMP) that has been developed for processing multiple dynamic complex queries based on the Query Melting (QM) paradigm which consists of the sharing paradigm and the push-down strategy. An experimental evaluation has been conducted using a case study based on the map of Paris. The results analysis proved that significant saving in time can be achieved by employing the newly developed strategy.
Keywords: Query optimization; Mobile visual query languages; Mobile GIS; Dynamic queries
Systematic evolution of model-based spreadsheet applications BIBAKFull-Text 267-286
  Markus Luckey; Martin Erwig; Gregor Engels
Using spreadsheets is the preferred method to calculate, display or store anything that fits into a table-like structure. They are often used by end users to create applications, although they have one critical drawback -- spreadsheets are very error-prone. Recent research has developed methods to reduce this error-proneness by introducing a new way of object-oriented modeling of spreadsheets before using them. These spreadsheet models, termed ClassSheets, are used to generate concrete spreadsheets on the instance level. By this approach sources of errors are reduced and spreadsheet applications become easier to understand.
   As usual for almost every other application, requirements on spreadsheets change due to the changing environment. Thus, the problem of evolution of spreadsheets arises. The update and evolution of spreadsheets is the uttermost source of errors that may have severe impact.
   In this paper, we will introduce a model-based approach to spreadsheet evolution by propagating updates on spreadsheet models (i.e. ClassSheets) to spreadsheets. To this end, update commands for the ClassSheet layer are automatically transformed to those for the spreadsheet layer. We describe spreadsheet model update propagation using a formal framework and present an integrated tool suite that allows the easy creation and safe update of spreadsheet models. The presented approach greatly contributes to the problem of software evolution and maintenance for spreadsheets and thus avoids many errors that might have severe impacts.
Keywords: Model-based; Spreadsheet; Evolution; Update; Propagation
ASM2Bogor: An approach for verification of models specified through Asmeta language BIBAKFull-Text 287-298
  Vahid Rafe; Saeed Doostali
Nowadays, publish-subscribe (pub-sub) and event-based architectures are frequently used for developing loosely coupled distributed systems. Hence, it is desirable to find a proper solution to specify different systems through these architectures. Abstract state machine (ASM) is a useful means to visually and formally model pub-sub and event-based architectures. However, modeling per se is not enough since the designers want to be able to verify the designed models. As the model checking is a proper approach to verify software and hardware systems, in this paper, we present an approach to verify ASM models specified in terms of Asmeta language using Bogor -- a well known model checker. In our approach, the AsmetaL specification is automatically encoded to BIR, the input language of the Bogor. Our experimental results show that in the most cases our approach generates more efficient results in comparison with the existing approach.
Keywords: Model checking; Abstract state machine; Bogor; Asmeta; Linear temporal logic
Emotional eye movement generation based on Geneva Emotion Wheel for virtual agents BIBAKFull-Text 299-310
  Zheng Li; Xia Mao
Eye movement plays an important role in face to face communication in that it conveys nonverbal information and emotional intent beyond speech. Our research proposes a computational framework that enables virtual agents to convey different emotional expressions to users through eye movement. We build this framework based on eye movement parameters derived from the Kohn-Canade AU (action unit)-Coded Facial Expression Database as well as real-time eye movement data. We also describe a rule-based approach to generate emotional eye movement based on the Geneva Emotion Wheel. We then present one experiment in which subjects evaluated the emotional eye movement generated by this framework. When our proposed model was employed, the results showed a higher rate of recognition of the agent intended emotion, proving the validity of our approach.
Keywords: Virtual agents; Human-computer interaction; Eye movement synthesis; Computer animation

VLC 2012-12 Volume 23 Issue 6

Taxonomy-driven prototyping of home automation applications: A novice-programmer visual language and its evaluation BIBAKFull-Text 311-326
  Zoé Drey; Charles Consel
Home automation environments are dedicated to helping users in their everyday life and are being deployed in an increasing number of areas, including home security, energy consumption, and assisted living. The range of situations to be addressed makes the development of home automation applications challenging: it requires to manage heterogeneous entities with a wide variety of functionalities. Moreover, since this area covers a large spectrum of user needs, it is crucial to ease the development and the evolution of these applications.
   This paper presents Pantagruel, an expressive and accessible approach to integrating a taxonomical description of a home automation environment into a visual programming language. A taxonomy describes the relevant entities of a given home automation area and serves as a parameter to a sensor-controller-actuator development paradigm. The orchestration of area-specific entities is supported by high-level constructs, customized with respect to taxonomical information.
   We have implemented a visual environment that integrates a taxonomical approach in the development of orchestration rules. Furthermore, we have developed a compiler for Pantagruel and successfully used it to test applications in various areas related to orchestration development for the domain of home automation. Finally, we have successfully evaluated the usability of Pantagruel through a user study performed with 18 novice programmers.
Keywords: Visual rule-based language; Home automation; Entity orchestration
Sketch-based aesthetic product form exploration from existing images using piecewise clothoid curves BIBAKFull-Text 327-339
  Günay Orbay; Mehmet Ersin Yümer; Levent Burak Kara
We present a new sketch-based product form exploration technique that works from images and sketches of existing products. At the heart of our approach, is a multi-stroke curve beautification method and a curve-based image deformation algorithm. The proposed approach converts groups of strokes into piecewise clothoid curves in order to produce visually pleasing shapes. The deformation diffusion algorithm then spatially distributes the user specified deformations through out the image to produce smooth transformations from the original image to the resulting image. We demonstrate the technique on a variety of images including photo-realistic images, real product images, and sketches.
Keywords: Sketching; Product design; Aesthetics; Curve design; Image editing
Using visual languages in management BIBAKFull-Text 340-343
  Kang Zhang
Recent great advances of information visualization and visual languages have not been utilized in the management field. This View point article advocates the use of appropriate visual languages in general and visualization in particular to maximize human's visual perceptual power for rapid and effective communication in management.
Keywords: Visual languages; Visual communication; Visualization; Management
Facilitating insight into a simulation model using visualization and dynamic model previews BIBAKFull-Text 344-353
  Joost de Folter; Timothy Cribbin
This paper shows how model simplification, by replacing iterative steps with unitary predictive equations, can enable dynamic interaction with a complex simulation process. Model previews extend the techniques of dynamic querying and query previews into the context of ad hoc simulation model exploration. A case study is presented within the domain of counter-current chromatography. The relatively novel method of insight evaluation was applied, given the exploratory nature of the task. The evaluation data show that the trade-off in accuracy is far outweighed by benefits of dynamic interaction. The number of insights gained using the enhanced interactive version of the computer model was more than six times higher than the number of insights gained using the basic version of the model. There was also a trend for dynamic interaction to facilitate insights of greater domain importance.
Keywords: Visualization; Simulation; Dynamic query; Query preview; Insight evaluation; Counter-current chromatography
User-driven modelling: Visualisation and systematic interaction for end-user programming BIBAKFull-Text 354-379
  Peter Hale; Anthony E. Solomonides; Ian Beeson
This research enables computer literate engineers to model problems in software by minimising code they need to write. Software development is difficult for many engineers as they may have no time, experience, or access to software development tools necessary to model their problems. Using a combination of modelling via use of formulae (equations) and visualisation of the way these formulae interact, it is possible to construct modelling software without requiring code. This technique of user-driven modelling/programming (UDM/P) could be applied to any problem that requires linked equations to be represented and tracked, and results from these calculated. End-user programming could be tackled by many researchers co-operating to create specific solutions to different kinds of end-user programming problems. A stepped ontology based translation process assists with progress towards a generic solution, this is first applied to engineering modelling.
Keywords: Visual programming; Visualisation; Translation; Transformation; Meta programming; Cost modelling; Modelling; Decision support; Design; Manufacture; User-driven modelling; Semantic Web; Ontologies; End-user programming