Visualizing models in Java applications

OData support
Ujhelyi Zoltán
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

Nowadays the model-driven development is more and more prominent in informatics technology. In case of modeling it is essential to display our model in a visual way. Visualizing our model is important to understand the logic of the huge projects, and also to understand the connection between the objects of the system. The display is feasible in many ways, but the topic of this thesis is to show the models in form of a graph.

To perform this task I have familiarized myself with and utilized the EMF-IncQuery model query framework, which is developed by the Department of Measurement and Information Systems. The EMF-IncQuery tool has a Viewers extension. With this extension we can define a view-model of our model. Our task is to display this view-model with various Java graph visualization libraries. The Viewers framework already provides two integrated graph visualization tools, but neither of them is perfect for us. One of them lacks in terms of built-in layout algorithms, and the other has a commercial license. In order to provide the visualization in a perfect way, our visualization libraries need great built-in layout algorithms as well as good formatting options and it should preferably have free license.

To find suitable visualization tools I have thoroughly researched the available technologies. I have found it worthwhile to examine three of these in more detail, as the licenses, built-in layout algorithms and formatting possibilities seemed promising. To be able to assess the capabilities of these tools in action I have integrated two of them with the Viewers framework of EMF-IncQuery, and created a detailed evaluation of one. After the integration and thorough examination of the tools, by comparing the different visualization technologies, both the newly integrated and the already existing ones, we can get a comprehensive picture about the tools most suited for the visualization of the view-model and the main areas for improvement.


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