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Making the Evolution of Graphical Models Visible

8 pagesPublished: July 28, 2014


With adoption of the UML and other graphical languages by software industry,
graphical models became a cornerstone in today's software development practice.
As other artefacts such as program source code, graphical models evolve over
time and are, thus, put regularily under version control.

In order to deeply understand the role an artefact plays within a project, it is
sometimes helpful to review the history of this artefact. While there are
numerous tools available that make it easy for a user to grasp the evolution of
textual files (or even portions of it), an adequate support for graphical files
has remained to be an area of niche products.

In this paper, we argue that a better support for reviewing the version history
of graphical files can facilitate the work with graphical models. In order to
support this claim, we implemented a prototypcical tool that can extract and
display the version history of any graphical file stored in a GitHub-repository.
In addition, users can annotate each version of a file with comments, what
turns our tool into a review tool for software projects. Recently, we started to
use the tool is a software engineering course to give students better feedback
on complex UML models they have to develop iteratively.

Keyphrases: graphical modeling, Human Computer Interface, repository mining, textual modeling, version control

In: Irina Virbitskaite and Andrei Voronkov (editors). PSI 2014. Ershov Informatics Conference, vol 23, pages 1--8

BibTeX entry
  author    = {Thomas Baar and Issam Bendaas},
  title     = {Making the Evolution of Graphical Models Visible},
  booktitle = {PSI 2014. Ershov Informatics Conference},
  editor    = {Irina Virbitskaite and Andrei Voronkov},
  series    = {EPiC Series in Computing},
  volume    = {23},
  pages     = {1--8},
  year      = {2014},
  publisher = {EasyChair},
  bibsource = {EasyChair,},
  issn      = {2398-7340},
  url       = {},
  doi       = {10.29007/fqc6}}
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