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Published in: Proceedings, 11th Symposium on Visual Languages, V. Haarslev (ed.), Darmstadt, Germany, Sep. 5-9, 1995, IEEE Press, 1995, pp. 156-163.

Formal Semantics of Visual Languages Using Spatial Reasoning

Volker Haarslev

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


This paper describes a new approach to develop formal semantics of visual languages. The proposed framework relies on a spatial logic for describing qualitative spatial relationships between elements of visual languages and on description logics theory. Visual languages that are ideally suited for this approach should be based on geometrical objects such as points, (directed) lines, and convex regions. A prominent feature of our approach is the capability for automatic verification of semantics specifications. The specifications defining our example language, Pictorial Janus, are fully developed and were automatically verified using a representative set of example programs.

Keywords--- formal semantics, completely visual languages, spatial reasoning, visual reasoning, description logics, graphical theorem proving.

Volker Haarslev
Wed Jan 31 15:50:43 MET 1996