What do Business processes, Network topologies, Biochemical pathways, Website maps, UML diagrams, or Database schemas have in common? They all use entity-relation diagrams to represent domain-specific information. Some of these diagrams are created manually, but most of them require automatic placement of nodes, links, connections, and annotations when they become too large for manual placement or when they are part of an automatic production process. As a consequence, computer-assisted placement is required for the automatic discovery, display, and management of structured information. For example, a network monitoring console pulls information from an inventory system and displays interconnected assets in an appropriate, aesthetic, and efficient manner.
The Eclipse platform, through the Graphical Editing Framework (GEF), provides a robust foundation for creating all sorts of diagramming and modelling applications. However, the automatic layout of graphical entities and the routing of connections is a weak part of GEF, and needs to be improved to reach professional quality and performance. The ILOG Visualization team has created an implementation of professional-quality layout algorithms that can be directly invoked on GEF structures, in a high-performance and non-intrusive approach.
This presentation demonstrates this technical integration and discusses the benefits of advanced layout techniques for GEF-enabled applications.
Georg Sander is Principal Scientist at ILOG and develops new layout strategies for ILOG's Java and .NET product lines. With more than 15 years of experience in automatic graph layout, he is well known in the graph drawing research community. He joined ILOG in 1999 as a graph layout specialist for the Views and JViews product lines. From 1996 to 1999, he was chief software architect at Tom Sawyer Software where he led the graph layout development team. Before that, he worked in the Esprit projects #390 PROSPECTRA and #5399 COMPARE on compiler technology and on visualization of compilers. Mr Sander holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Saarland University in Germany.
Stéphane Lizeray is a Senior Architect with ILOG's Visualization R&D team. He joined ILOG in 2000. He has participated in the development of JViews Diagrammer. His principal focus is now on Eclipse. Prior to joining ILOG, he worked at Digitalk/V where he worked on the Smalltalk/V library. He holds an engineering degree from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in 1999.