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Published in: Proceedings, International Workshop on Theory of Visual Languages, Gubbio, Italy, May 30, 1996.

A Fully Formalized Theory for Describing Visual Notations

(Extended Abstract)

Volker Haarslev

University of Hamburg, Computer Science Department,
Vogt-Kölln-Str. 30, 22527 Hamburg, Germany


This paper addresses issues in visual language theory with the help of logic formalisms that were developed for reasoning tasks by the artificial intelligence and spatial databases community, especially for spatial and diagrammatical reasoning. We describe an approach based on three formal components. Topology is used to define basic geometric objects. Theory about spatial relations from the domain of spatial databases is employed to define possible relationships between visual language elements. Description logic theory from the AI community is used to combine topology and spatial relations. The resulting theory has been successfully applied to formally specifying semantics of visual languages. The theory's application is illustrated with a specification of entity-relationship diagrams.

Keywords--- Theory of visual languages, formal semantics, diagrammatical reasoning, description logics, visual parsing.

Volker Haarslev
Tue Jul 2 13:23:22 MET DST 1996