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XML-Based Neutral Language for Data Display Systems. John Hamilton Ron Fernandes Knowledge Based Systems, Inc. 112 th RCC Telemetry Group Conference California, MD August 24 th , 2005. Agenda. Background Motivation Data Display Markup Language (DDML)

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Xml based neutral language for data display systems
XML-Based Neutral Language for Data Display Systems

John Hamilton

Ron Fernandes

Knowledge Based Systems, Inc.

112th RCC Telemetry Group Conference

California, MD

August 24th, 2005


  • Background

  • Motivation

  • Data Display Markup Language (DDML)

  • Data Display Model Repository and Translator Framework (DDTF)

  • Applications

  • Conclusions


  • Work based on a Phase I and II SBIR sponsored by Edwards Air Force Base

  • Technical POC: Dr. Charles Jones

  • Work with

    • China Lake / Lockheed Martin, Ridgecrest

    • NAWS, Pt. Mugu

    • Pax River Test Range Center

    • PM Utility Helicopter, U.S. Army

    • Sherrill-Lubinski Corp

    • Symvionics Corp.

    • Bruce Lipe, EAFB

    • Jon Morgan, EAFB

  • Project ends Nov 2006

Why neutral language
Why Neutral Language?

  • Data display setup is a lengthy procedure

  • Diverse data display systems

  • Test and Evaluation (T&E) performed at different locations

  • Need reuse of displays for joint service T&E missions

    • Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

    • Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)

Why neutral language1













Why Neutral Language?

  • Currently, displays are created manually

  • Develop translators without neutral language

Why neutral language2









DDML Document





Why Neutral Language?

  • Develop translators with neutral language

Data display markup language
Data Display Markup Language

  • Based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML)

  • Four logical layers: graphics resources, dynamics, variables and data sources

  • Includes most T&E display objects

    • plotters, meters, strip charts, etc.

  • Primitive graphics resources based on Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)

    • rectangles, lines, etc.

  • Generic to support nonstandard objects

Data display markup language1

Typical Software Layer

(e.g., Model-View Architecture)

DDML Layers

Graphics Resources

(position, color, etc.)

Graphics Resources

(controls, color, etc.)

User Interfaces

(rendering, display, etc.)


Information Management

(objects, variables, etc.)

Data variables and derived data


(load, save, etc.)

Data Sources

Data Display Markup Language

  • Layers similar to typical software architecture

Ddml design
DDML Design

  • DDML is generic enough to support multiple data display systems, despite

    • Nomenclature differences across tools

    • Different functionality and focus for each system

    • Architectural differences and fuzzy specification of architectural layers

    • Nonstandard, tool-specific concepts

Ddml design artifacts
DDML Design artifacts

  • Data dictionary – Excel-based

    • Maps vendor objects to DDML elements and attributes

  • IDEF1X data model

  • Special mapping rules file

  • XMLSpy model

  • DTD and XML Schemas

Ddml data dictionary
DDML Data Dictionary

  • Dictionary of DDML terms and description

  • Includes corresponding terms in SL, IADS, DataViews, RangeView, GRIDS, etc.

  • Logically, each term is of the following four types

    • Element (document type definition [DTD] element)

    • Attribute (DTD attribute)

    • User-defined parameter

      • <param name=“xxx” value=“yy” type=“string”>

    • User-defined object type

      • <object name=“MySC” type=“Mike’s Meter”>

Ddml details
DDML Details

  • <model> contains all display objects on a given screen.

  • Standard display objects including

    • <stripchart>

    • <barchart>

    • <piechart>

    • <dial>

    • <slider>

  • Non-Standard/Custom objects

    • <object>

Ddml support for derived data
DDML Support for Derived Data

  • Example 1: 3x2 - 2(sin y)2


    <exp coef=“3” power=“2” var_ref=“x” />

    <exp coef=“-2” power=“2” oper=SIN var_ref=“y” />


  • Example 2: 4x2 - 5(sin (y2 +z2) )


    <exp coef=“4” power=“2” var_ref=“x” />

    <exp coef=“-5” power=“0.5” oper=SIN>

    <exp coef=“1” power=“2” var_ref=“y” />

    <exp coef=“1” power=“2” var_ref=“y” />



Example of using ddml

Symvionics’ IADS



GE DataViews

C / OpenGL



Example of using DDML

  • DDML serves as the interlingua

Ddml documentation
DDML Documentation

  • Translator development methodology is documented

    • Internal and external translators;

    • What’s common to both types

    • To be presented at ITC 2005

  • DDML website maintenance

    • http://www.kbsi.com/DDML/DDML.htm

Mapping ddml to a new target
Mapping DDML to a new Target

  • Each tool/system must map its concept to that of DDML

    • Add display objects to data dictionary

    • Map objects to DDML objects

    • Define extra/special rules for mapping

    • Catalog non-standard display objects

  • Translator must encode these rules to read/write DDML

    • Internal Vs. External Translator

Data display translator framework
Data Display Translator Framework

  • DDML Model Repository with Translators

Data display translator framework1
Data Display Translator Framework

  • Phase II: DDML Browser

Data display translator framework2
Data Display Translator Framework

  • Phase II: DDML Query Tool

Ddml benefits
DDML Benefits

  • Supports interoperability of display systems

    • Same look and feel across environments and test centers

  • Vendor-independent way of cataloging display information

  • Can be used in various environments

    • T&E missions

    • Industrial process control

    • Cockpit and automobile dashboards

    • Health monitoring: man and machine


  • DDML is a generic XML-based neutral language for data display applications

  • DDML has been tested to support at least three vendor-specific formats

  • DDTF provided integrated framework for future translators

  • DDML and DDTF have applications beyond T&E

Points of contact
Points of Contact

  • Dr. Charles Jones, AFFTC, EAFB

    • charles.jones@edwards.af.mil

  • Mike Graul, KBSI

    • Mgraul@kbsi.com

  • John Hamilton, KBSI

    • JLHamilton@kbsi.com

  • Ronald Fernandes, KBSI

    • Rfernandes@kbsi.com