Axini uses a textual modeling language. For models in this language we can generate visualizations, although not the other way around. There are techniques that make it possible to keep textual and visual models in sync. For example, the Xtext framework offers such functionality. Such techniques would enable visual modeling and make modeling more approachable by less technical domain experts.
A key challenge in visual modeling is having an intermediate representation that can be edited both textually and visually. This representation must strike a middle ground between the high-level concepts of the textual language and the elements of the visual language.
We expect students to investigate whether such approaches from other domains can be applied to our modeling language.
Possible research questions:
- What techniques are available to enable visual programming or modeling?
- What constraints does such an approach apply on the concepts in the language?
- Which representation can unify (visual) LTS or STS models with a high-level textual model?
Once you have a visual modeling language this opens opportunities for new modeling approaches and puzzles. For example, how to refactor a visual model, or how to refine a visual model?
- A literature study on visual programming and modeling techniques (possibly in other domains).
- A proof of concept to show the chosen approach.
- A theory of visual modeling, including visual refactoring and refinement.