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A method for visualizing graphical model during a merge operation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000199666D
Publication Date: 2010-Sep-14
Document File: 8 page(s) / 157K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


A usability design invention is described for visualizing and interacting changes reported during a merge operation of graphical model, so as to help users understand and operate on those changes more effectively.

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A method for visualizing graphical model during a merge operation

Disclosed is a process providing a capability for a usability design for visualizing and interacting changes reported during a merge operation of graphical model. Embodiments of the disclosed

process enable users to understand and operate on those changes more effectively.

Possibly one of the most difficult tasks application developers frequently face is a need to merge different versions of a same document or artifact, for example, typically when a development team collaborates on the same application. The task becomes increasingly complex when a developer is faced with merging changes to a graphical model, such as business process, received from a colleague. In a typical merge session a comparison tools detects a list of changes users would process. Each change can either be accepted or rejected. The combination of accepted and rejected changes yields the merge result once the user commits. The difficulty for the user, when accepting or rejecting a change, is understanding the relevance to and impact of the change on the application. The consequence of a commitment is important when dealing with visual, or graphical models, due the difficulty in understanding,


                                         ust by reading simple text description, what a change comprises and how that change will affect the merge result.

Typically a change and associated impact is visualized using side-by-side panes, linking different areas of a document from left to right. The panes usually correspond to a merge result (on the left side) and an incoming document (on the right side). The content of the panes is generally tree-based,


 resents a visualization of a change to a new node using side-by-side panes technique. The side-by-side panes visualization is better than a simple description. The visualization is however still insufficient because the visualization typically does not contain enough context information to understand the change and associated impact with respect to the graph structure. For example, Figure 1 depicts the addition of a node into a process. The user cannot determine where a new node is added in the flow by looking at the tree-based outline. All the user knows is that the new node is added at the root of the process but cannot tell how the new node is connected to other nodes.


resenting an outline of the structured documents. Figure 1, for example,


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Figure 1

To overcome the problem of the example, the disclosed process describes a set of visualization and user interaction techniques to better present changes and associated impact to typically simplify and improve the overall experience of a merge operation for graphical or visual models.

The disclosed process provides a capability for user interface enhancements as illustrated in Figure 2. The enhanced user interface according to the disclosed interface contains a change

  lane and a visualization plane. The change plane depicts the change...