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Re: Visualization of domain and range

From: Daniel Schwabe <dschwabe@inf.puc-rio.br>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2010 16:24:55 -0200
Message-ID: <4B589BF7.2070208@inf.puc-rio.br>
CC: public-semweb-ui@w3.org
Dear all,
I believe visual notations, if well chosen, are a very powerful 
instrument to help people understand models, RDF, RDFS and OWL included. 
For those interested in understanding some of the principles underying 
the use of graphical notations for Software Engineering in general, I 
stronlgy recommend taking a look at [1].
Unfortunately, the paper is in a subscription-only database, but I'm 
sure that if you write directly to the author, he'll be more than happy 
to send you a copy.

[1] Moody, D. L.; The "Physics" of Notations: Toward a Scientific Basis 
for Constructing Visual Notations in Software Engineering
IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, November/December 2009 (vol. 
35 no. 6) pp. 756-779

DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/TSE.2009.67

Visual notations form an integral part of the language of software 
engineering (SE). Yet historically, SE researchers and notation 
designers have ignored or undervalued issues of visual representation. 
In evaluating and comparing notations, details of visual syntax are 
rarely discussed. In designing notations, the majority of effort is 
spent on semantics, with graphical conventions largely an afterthought. 
Typically, no design rationale, scientific or otherwise, is provided for 
visual representation choices. While SE has developed mature methods for 
evaluating and designing semantics, it lacks equivalent methods for 
visual syntax. This paper defines a set of principles for designing 
cognitively effective visual notations: ones that are optimized for 
human communication and problem solving. Together these form a design 
theory, called the Physics of Notations as it focuses on the physical 
(perceptual) properties of notations rather than their logical 
(semantic) properties. The principles were synthesized from theory and 
empirical evidence from a wide range of fields and rest on an explicit 
theory of how visual notations communicate. They can be used to 
evaluate, compare, and improve existing visual notations as well as to 
construct new ones. The paper identifies serious design flaws in some of 
the leading SE notations, together with practical suggestions for 
improving them. It also showcases some examples of visual notation 
design excellence from SE and other fields.


Daniel Schwabe
Tel:+55-21-3527 1500 r. 4356
Fax: +55-21-3527 1530
http://www.inf.puc-rio.br/~dschwabe 	Dept. de Informatica, PUC-Rio
R. M. de S. Vicente, 225
Rio de Janeiro, RJ 22453-900, Brasil
Received on Thursday, 21 January 2010 18:25:27 UTC

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