Visual Rule-Based Programming

Frank Drewes (Umeå University, Schweden)
Berthold Hoffmann (Universität Bremen)
Mark Minas

Many problems in computer science or other application domains are based on graphs or are easily modelled by graphs. Computing by graph transformation, therefore, is natural when dealing with such graphs. However, users do not accept graphs as (the only) data structure if they are visible on the user interface. This is one of the reasons why programming by graph transformation does not have the success that might be expected. But usability of programming languages using the rule-based approach of graph transformations is expected to be improved by domain-specific visualizations of graphs (e.g., as diagrams). Hence, the objective of this research project is a visual programming language that makes use of diagrams as data structures which are internally represented by graphs and which are manipulated by graph transformations in a rule-based way.

The cooperation has started with a computational model that uses graph transformations on hierarchical hypergraphs. In order to create domain-specific visualizations, we use the diagram specification and generation tool DiaGen which will be advanced in the course of this cooperation.

The long term goal of this project is to make available domain-specific programming languages with customizable visualizations of data structures and user interfaces. Such languages would thus be adaptable to different application domains, and they would be more usable than (textual) programming languages as of today. Graphical approaches are currently omnipresent in analysis and design (e.g., UML). Programs, however, are still written as text, even for inherently visual problems or problems that use visual representations. Instead, future approaches should allow for visual modelling and visual programming without such a large and error-prone gap between analysis and design on the one hand, and programming on the other hand. Programs would then be easier to write, easier to maintain, and easier to understand.

Publications

[1]
B. Hoffmann and M. Minas. Generating efficient predictive shift-reduce parsers for hyperedge replacement grammars. In Proc. 8th International Workshop on Graph Computation Models (GCM 2017), Satellite of ICGT 2017, 2017. [ .pdf ]
[2]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, and M. Minas. Predictive shift-reduce parsing for hyperedge replacement grammars. In J. de Lara and D. Plump, editors, Graph Transformation: 10th International Conference, ICGT 2017, Held as Part of STAF 2017, Marburg, Germany, July 18-19, 2017, Proceedings, volume 10373 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 106--122, Cham, 2017. Springer International Publishing. [ DOI | http ]
[3]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, and M. Minas. Approximating Parikh images for generating deterministic graph parsers. In P. Milazzo, D. Varró, and M. Wimmer, editors, Software Technologies: Applications and Foundations -- STAF 2016 Collocated Workshops: DataMod, GCM, HOFM, MELO, SEMS, VeryComp, Vienna Austria, July 4-8, 2016, Revised Selected Papers, volume 9946 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 112--128. Springer International Publishing, 2016. [ DOI | http ]
[4]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, and M. Minas. Predictive top-down parsing for hyperedge replacement grammars. In F. Parisi-Presicce and B. Westfechtel, editors, Graph Transformation, 8th International Conference, ICGT 2015, L'Aquila, Italy, volume 9151 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 19--34. Springer International Publishing, 2015. This paper received the EATCS Best Paper Award at ICGT 2015. [ DOI | http ]
[5]
S. Mazanek, C. Rutetzki, and M. Minas. Tool demonstration of the transformation judge. In A. Schürr, D. Varró, and G. Varró, editors, Applications of Graph Transformation with Industrial Relevance, 4th International Symposium, AGTIVE 2011, Budapest, Hungary, October 4-7, 2011, Proceedings, volume 7233 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 97--104. Springer-Verlag, 2012. [ DOI ]
[6]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, and M. Minas. Contextual hyperedge replacement. In A. Schürr, D. Varró, and G. Varró, editors, Applications of Graph Transformation with Industrial Relevance, 4th International Symposium, AGTIVE 2011, Budapest, Hungary, October 4-7, 2011, Proceedings, volume 7233 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 182--197. Springer-Verlag, 2012. [ DOI ]
[7]
B. Hoffmann and M. Minas. Generating instance graphs from class diagrams with adaptive star grammars. In R. Echahed, A. Habel, and M. Mosbah, editors, Proc. Graph Computation Models -- Selected Revised Papers from the Third International Workshop on Graph Computation Models (GCM 2010), volume 39 of Electronic Communications of the EASST, 2011. [ DOI ]
[8]
B. Hoffmann and M. Minas. Defining models - meta models versus graph grammars. In J. Küster and E. Tuosto, editors, Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Graph Transformation and Visual Modeling Techniques (GT-VMT 2010), March 20-21 2010, Paphos, Cyprus, volume 29 of Electronic Communications of the EASST, 2010. [ DOI ]
[9]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, D. Janssens, and M. Minas. Adaptive star grammars and their languages. Theoretical Computer Science, 411(34-36):3090 -- 3109, 2010. [ DOI | .pdf ]
[10]
M. Minas and H. J. Schneider. Graph transformation by computational category theory. In G. Engels, C. Lewerentz, W. Schäfer, A. Schürr, and B. Westfechtel, editors, Graph Transformations and Model Driven Enginering -- Essays Dedicated to Manfred Nagl on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday, volume 5765 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 34--59. Springer-Verlag, 2010. [ DOI | http ]
[11]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, and M. Minas. Adaptive star grammars for graph models. In H. Ehrig, R. Heckel, G. Rozenberg, and G. Taentzer, editors, Graph Transformations, 4th International Conference, ICGT 2008, Leicester, United Kingdom, September 7-13, 2008. Proceedings, volume 5214 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 442--457. Springer-Verlag, 2008. [ DOI | http ]
[12]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, D. Janssens, M. Minas, and N. V. Eetvelde. Shaped generic graph transformation. In A. Schürr, M. Nagl, and A. Zündorf, editors, Applications of Graph Transformations with Industrial Relevance, Third International Symposium, AGTIVE 2007, Kassel, Germany, October 10-12, 2007, Revised Selected and Invited Papers, volume 5088 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 201--216. Springer-Verlag, 2008. [ DOI | http ]
[13]
A. Matzner, M. Minas, and A. Schulte. Efficient graph matching with application to cognitive automation. In A. Schürr, M. Nagl, and A. Zündorf, editors, Applications of Graph Transformations with Industrial Relevance, Third International Symposium, AGTIVE 2007, Kassel, Germany, October 10-12, 2007, Revised Selected and Invited Papers, volume 5088 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 297--312. Springer-Verlag, 2008. [ DOI | http ]
[14]
M. Minas and B. Hoffmann. An example of cloning graph transformation rules for programming. In R. Bruni and D. Varró, editors, Proc. 5th International Workshop on Graph Transformation and Visual Modeling Techniques (GT-VMT 2006), Satellite Event of ETAPS'06, April 1--2, 2006, Vienna, Austria, volume 211 of Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, pages 241--250. Elsevier Science Publishers, 2008. [ DOI | http ]
[15]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, D. Janssens, M. Minas, and N. Van Eetvelde. Adaptive star grammars. In A. Corradini, H. Ehrig, U. Montanari, L. Ribeiro, and G. Rozenberg, editors, Graph Transformations, Third International Conference, ICGT 2006, Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, Sept. 17--23, 2006, volume 4178 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 77--91. Springer-Verlag, Sept. 2006. [ DOI | http ]
[16]
M. Minas. Parsing of adaptive star grammars. In G. Karsai and G. Taentzer, editors, Proc. of 2nd International Workshop on Graph and Model Transformation (GraMoT 2006), Brighton, UK, September 8, 2006. Satellite event of the 2006 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, volume 4 of Electronic Communications of the EASST, 2006. [ DOI ]
[17]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, R. Klein, and M. Minas. Rule-based programming with DiaPlan. In T. Mens, A. Schürr, and G. Taentzer, editors, Proc. International Workshop on Graph-Based Tools (GraBaTs'04), affiliated with Second International Conference on Graph Transformation (ICGT 2004). Rome (Italy), October 2, 2004, volume 127/1 of Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science, pages 15--26. Elsevier Science Publishers, 2005. [ DOI | http ]
[18]
P. Bottoni and M. Minas. Special section on graph transformations and visual modeling techniques - introductory paper. Software and System Modeling, 3(2):83--84, 2004. [ DOI | http ]
[19]
M. Minas. AGTIVE'03: Summary from the viewpoint of graph transformation specifications. In J. L. Pfaltz, M. Nagel, and B. Böhlen, editors, Applications of Graph Transformation with Industrial Relevance, Proc. 2nd Intl. Workshop AGTIVE'03, Charlottesville, USA, 2003, Revised and Invited Papers, volume 3062 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, page 491f. Springer-Verlag, 2004. [ DOI | http ]
[20]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, and M. Minas. Context-exploiting shapes for diagram transformation. Machine Graphics and Vision, 12(1):117--132, 2003. Special issue on Diagrammatics & Design.
[21]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, and M. Minas. Constructing shapely nested graph transformations. In Proc. AGT'2002 (APPLIGRAPH Workshop on Applied Graph Transformation), Satellite Event to ETAPS 2002, Grenoble, France, 2002, pages 107--118, 2002.
[22]
F. Drewes, B. Hoffmann, and M. Minas. Context-exploiting shapes for diagram transformations. In Proc. 1st European Workshop on Diagrammatics and Design (D&D 2002), 2002, Bielsko-Biala, Poland, September 23-24, pages 39--40, 2002.
[23]
B. Hoffmann and M. Minas. Transformation of shaped nested graphs and diagrams. In M. van den Brand and R. Verma, editors, Proc. 2nd International Workshop on Rule-based Programming (RULE 2001), affiliated with Principles, Logics, and Implementations of High-Level Programming Language (PLI 2001). September 4, 2001, Firenze, Italy, volume 59/4 of Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science. Elsevier Science Publishers, 2001. [ DOI ]
[24]
B. Hoffmann and M. Minas. Towards generic rule-based visual programming. In Proc. 2000 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages (VL'2000), Seattle, Washington, pages 65--66. IEEE Computer Society Press, Sept. 2000. [ DOI ]
[25]
B. Hoffmann and M. Minas. Über generisches visuelles Programmieren. In S. Diehl and A. Kerren, editors, Tagungsband des GI-Workshops “Softwarevisualisierung 2000”, Schloss Dagstuhl, 11./12. Mai 2000, pages 41--51, 2000. TR A/01/2000, Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken, Fachbereich Informatik.
[26]
B. Hoffmann and M. Minas. A generic model for diagram syntax and semantics. In J. Rolim et al., editors, ICALP Workshops 2000, Proceedings in Informatics 8, pages 443--450, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 2000. Carleton Scientific. Workshop on Graph Transformation and Visual Modelling Techniques (GT-VMT 2000). July 15/16, 2000, Genova, Switzerland.
[27]
B. Hoffmann and M. Minas. Towards rule-based visual programming of generic visual systems. In Proc. First International Workshop on Rule-Based Programming (RULE'2000), September 19, 2000, Montreal, Canada, pages 111--125, 2000. [ http ]