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Automatic Generation of User Interfaces from Rigorous Domain and Use Case Models
Phd Post-Graduation

User interface (UI) development, in the scope of data intensive interactive applications is a time demanding repetitive task. Nevertheless, few research projects target its automatic generation. Existing model-driven approaches to the UI automatic generation either demand the full construction of a UI model, which, with data intensive applications, corresponds to moving the repetitiveness of the UI construction to the modelling level, or demand a set of complex sub-models polluted with concrete UI information. This situation sets aside a more generalized utilization of such approaches. Few solutions found in the literature try to simplify the demanded sub-models by generating other sub-models from the previous ones, but they have revealed to be very inflexible, making it hard to work around less “standard" problems. Based on the identication and comparision of the state-of-art tools and approaches to the automatic generation of user interfaces, this thesis addresses the automatic generation of completely functional data driven interactive applications, including its user interface, following a model-driven paradigm. The defended approach starts from platform independent non-UI models of the system under development, namelly its domain model and its use case model, and generates a UI model, which is used, together with the domain model, to generate the application final code. An MDA-aligned iterative development process, for data intensive interactive applications, is also addressed, comprising model validation at the end of each iteration. The presented approach shall be viewed in an evolutionary development perspective, starting with a prototype that enables the validation and execution of executable system models, in an early phase of the software development process, and being possible to use it as a base for subsequent developments, by refining the previous models or complementing them with new sub-models. OCL is used to add rigor and semantic richness to the system model, and allows the generation of some features that are derived from the model's invariants and pre-conditions, contributing to the enhancement of the UI usability and acceptability. Two case studies are presented to support the defended thesis.

Start Date: 2011-01-20

End Date: 2011-01-20

Post-Graduation Student / Researcher / Professor:
  • António Miguel Cruz ( Instituto Politécnico de Viana do Castelo )

Post-Graduation Supervisor(s):
  • João Pascoal Faria ( Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto )

Post-Graduation Jury:
  • Vasco Amaral
  • Alberto Silva ( INESC Id )
  • Ana Paiva ( Instituto Superior Técnico )
  • Eugénio da Costa Oliveira ( Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto )
  • João Miguel Fernandes Bandeira Vaz ( Departamento de Informática FCT/UNL )
  • João Pascoal Faria ( Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto )
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