Semantics-driven user interfaces

OData support
Dr. Pataricza András
Department of Measurement and Information Systems

Nowadays, the spectrum of IT devices is getting wider. Owing to the screen size differences (ranging from small mobile screens to big desktop ones), software engineers must develop their applications in a way that each display size gives the best possible usability to the users.

Good examples for such applications are data visualizing softwares, where mobile environments should also be supported in order for users to see and analyse their business data on the go.

However, the designing of such applications, that support multiple platforms and display sizes, requires more planning time and precision, so that the user interface layout and design is ergonomic on every targeted screen sizes and platforms.

A demand emerges for a system that is able to create a smart layout for the application’s user interface, and uses the software’s domain specific context information to provide ergonomic UI layout for all targeted screen sizes.

The purpose of the thesis is to design a system that enables device independent user interface definitions. These are displayed automatically in an ergonomic way for any device size, while considering the semantic relations between the user interface components.

In contrast to the regular element reordering that is based on the topology of the document object model (DOM), the semantic based solution can provide a clearer and more logical layout owing to the underlying semantic information. This comes with several benefits, especially on mobile devices.

The thesis first gives an overview of common data visualization facts, tools and methods,

then describes the motivation behind supporting devices with different screen resolutions and sizes. In the second and third chapters, various model-driven and ontology-driven software engineering techniques, technologies and standards are presented, based on bibliographic

research. The fourth chapter introduces a solution to expand the system, which is based on the Invarion ontology-driven development platform, with data visualization components and a domain context based semantic layout algorithm. The designed system is presented through a visualization application, which shows the

profit and sale information of a demo videorental domain.


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