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Diagram Definition: an Overview


Abstract: The abstract syntax of a graphical modeling language is typically defined with a metamodel while its concrete syntax (diagram) is informally defined with text and figures. Recently, the Object Management Group (OMG) released a specification, called Diagram Definition (DD), to formally define both the interchange syntax and the graphical syntax of diagrams. In this work, we validate DD by using it to define a subset of the UML class diagram. Specifically, we define the interchange syntax with a MOF-based metamodel and the graphical syntax with a QVT mapping to a graphics metamodel. We then run an experiment where we interchange and render an example diagram using Eclipse-based tooling. We highlight various design decisions and discuss challenges of using DD in practice. We find that DD is a sound approach for formally defining diagrams that is expected to facilitate the interchange and the consistent rendering of diagrams between tools.

Venue: The third OMG / Eclipse symposium in Washington DC.

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