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Overviews at a glance: New visualization software for diagrams


Information overload? It is becoming increasingly important for companies and developers to present complex coherences clearly and concisely. In order to structure the growing amount of information, new methods are being conceived at the man/machine interface. This is where GoVisual software, developed at the international caesar research center, comes into play. It automatically generates a clear layout for a number of different diagrams in a second; particularly for UML (Unified Modeling Language) and cluster diagrams.

caesar (center of advanced european studies and research) will present the software from March 12-19 at the CeBIT in Hanover in Hall 3, Booth E50. The range of applications includes: business process modeling (organizational charts, workflow diagrams), databases (entity-relationship diagrams) as well as representations of technical and biological processes (phase diagrams, metabolic processes). GoVisual is available as a C++ program library with a Java or .NET interface for integrating with existing software or as a plug-in for Microsoft Visio 2000/2002. At CeBIT, new GoVisual Software products will be presented, which can be integrated as a plug-in into Poseidon Software (from Gentleware) as well as ControlCenter (previously from TogetherSoft, now Borland).

In the field of software engineering and re-engineering, UML diagrams are the new standard for displaying model information. UML class diagrams, which represent hierarchical and non-hierarchical relationships in a graphic, present a particular challenge for layout software. For the visualization of these multi-hierarchical diagrams GoVisual offers a unique technique which is based on powerful algorithms and modern methods of combinatorial optimization.

Clusters are essential in modern data processing and data mining. They bundle objects into one group, e.g. for a business process all relevant information of a compartment, thus contributing to a clearer overview. In diagrams, clusters must be allocated spatially. For this task, GoVisual offers a unique Cluster Orthogonal Layout method, which allows objects for every cluster to be displayed within defined areas.

GoVisual is available in several versions, customized to suit a number of different needs. It runs on Windows NT/98/2000/Me and XP. Expansions based on other applications and operating systems are currently being developed. Software marketing activities are being handled by oreas GmbH, a venture by caesar.

The international caesar research center was established in Bonn in 1999. The center has quickly grown to employ currently more than 150 scientists in interdisciplinary teams who conduct research in the fields of ergonomics in communications (man/machine interface), materials science/nanotechnology and biotechnology. Research and industrial application go hand in hand: caesar develops innovative products and processes and supports the scientists in starting up new ventures.

Francis Hugenroth | alfa
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