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UML i : The Unified Modeling Language for Interactive Applications. Paulo Pinheiro da Silva and Norman W. Paton Department of Computer Science, University of Manchester. User interface (UI) modelling with UML Background UML i ARGO i Conclusions Future work. Outline.

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uml i the unified modeling language for interactive applications

UMLi: The Unified Modeling Language for Interactive Applications

Paulo Pinheiro da Silva and Norman W. Paton

Department of Computer Science,

University of Manchester

outline
User interface (UI) modelling with UML

Background

UMLi

ARGOi

Conclusions

Future work

Outline
user interface modelling with uml 1 2
UML is a standard intended for modelling any software application.

User interfaces are a crucial part of most applications.

User Interface Modelling with UML (1/2)

HOWEVER:

UIs are usually not modelled using UML.

user interface modelling with uml 2 2
The limited use of UML for modelling UIs is evidence that UML may not be entirely suitable for UI design.

Which aspects of UIs cannot be modelled effectively using standard UML?

How can UML be improved to support modelling of such UI aspects effectively?

User Interface Modelling with UML (2/2)

But then...

background
UI modelling difficulties using UML

an approach for extending UML support for UI design

Background
  • UML-based interactive application case studies
  • Model-Based User Interface Development Environment techniques

Identify...

Provide...

uml i proposal
Main features of the UMLi proposal:

User Interface Diagrams

Activity Diagram Extensions

From use cases to activities

From activities to action states

Methodology

UMLi Proposal
modelling ui presentations
Abstract constructors are required to model UI presentations.

Abstract constructors should eventually be mapped into widgets.

Modelling UI Presentations
  • 9 instances of 6 widgets.
a ui presentation
A UI Presentation
  • In object diagrams, it is difficult to graphically realise:
    • Interaction object containment.

integrate

ConnectionUI:

FreeContainer

integrate

ButtonBox: Container

DataBox: Container

compose

compose

compose

compose

compose

PasswordLabel:

Displayer

LoginText:

Inputter

compose

OK: ActionInvoker

Cancel: ActionInvoker

PasswordText:

Inputter

LoginLabel:

Displayer

a ui presentation9
A UI Presentation
  • In object diagrams, it is difficult to graphically realise:
    • Interaction object containment
  • Which abstract roles interaction objects are playing

Different roles

integrate

ConnectionUI:

FreeContainer

integrate

ButtonBox: Container

DataBox: Container

compose

compose

compose

compose

compose

PasswordLabel:

Displayer

LoginText:

Inputter

compose

OK: ActionInvoker

Cancel: ActionInvoker

PasswordText:

Inputter

LoginLabel:

Displayer

Similar roles

a uml i ui presentation
A UMLi UI Presentation
  • UMLi UI diagrams provide graphical representations for:
    • containment of interaction objects
    • abstract roles of interaction objects

ConnectionUI

“Login”

“Password”

“Cancel”

“OK”

LoginText

PasswordText

from use cases and their scenarios to activities

ConnectUI

From Use Cases and theirScenarios to Activities

<<communicates>>

Connect

Connect

LibraryUser

Connect

<<presents>>

John, a library user,

must provide his

details to gain access

to the library system

Select Function

modelling common interactive behaviours
The modelling of some categories of transition may be simple using activity diagrams:

Sequential transitions

Concurrent transitions

Choices

However, the modelling of other categories of transition may be complex:

Optional transitions

Order independent transitions

Repeatable transitions

Modelling Common Interactive Behaviours

Connect

GetDetails

new SelectHist

SelectHist

Select

[GetName in SelectHist]

[GetPassord in SelectHist]

[GetName]

[GetPassword]

GetName

GetPassword

[GetName & GetPassword

in SelectHist]

TryConnection

SelectFunction

uml i selection states
UMLi introduces the SelectionState constructors for modelling:

Optional transitions

Order independent transitions

Repeatable transitions

UMLi Selection States

Connect

GetDetails

GetName

GetPassword

TryConnection

SelectFunction

argo i a uml i based tool 1 2
ARGOi is an extended version of UCI’s ARGO

The tool incorporates the following UMLi features:

UI diagram editor

ARGOi: A UMLi-Based Tool (1/2)
argo i a uml i based tool 2 2
UMLi Extended Activity Diagram features

Interaction object flow support

UMLi XMI parser/generator

ARGOi: A UMLi-Based Tool (2/2)
conclusions 1 2
UML needs to be extended to simplify the modelling of the following aspect of UIs:

UI presentations

Interactive behaviour (inter-object transitions)

Collaboration between interaction objects and non-interaction objects

Conclusions (1/2)
conclusions 2 2
UML for Interactive Applications (UMLi) is a proposal for extending UML that addresses these relevant problems of modelling UIs using UML.

Further, UMLi provides:

a notation, meta-model and XMI DTD specification;

ARGOi: A UMLi-based open source tool;

A complete UMLi case study modelled in ARGOi.

Conclusions (2/2)
future work
An industrial case study of using UMLi

Design metric comparison between UML and UMLi

UMLi methodology evaluation

An implementation of UI software generation from UMLi models

Future Work