Defining visual notations and their manipulation through meta-modelling and graph transformation
Faculty of Sciences. Mathematics and Computer Science
Journal of visual languages and computing. - London
, p. 309-330
This paper presents a framework for the definition of visual notations (both syntax and semantics) based on meta-modelling and graph transformation. With meta-modelling it is possible to define the syntax of the notations we want to deal with. Meta-modelling tools are able to generate environments which accept models in the defined formalisms. These can be provided with further functionality by defining operations that can be performed to the models. One of the ways of defining such manipulations is through graph grammars, because models and meta-models can be represented as attributed, typed graphs. In this way, computations become high-level models expressed in the formal, graphical and intuitive notation of graph grammars. As an example, AToM3 is used to automatically generate a tool for a Discrete Event Simulation notation. The tool's functionality has been completely defined in a visual way through graph grammars, and includes a simulator (formalism's operational semantics), a transformation into Timed Transition Petri nets (denotational semantics), an optimizer and a code generator for a GPSS simulator.