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Formal Model for Data Dependency Analysis between Controls and Actions of a Graphical User Interface

Author(s): SKVORC, D. | ZUZAK, I. | SRBLJIC, S.

Journal: Advances in Electrical and Computer Engineering
ISSN 1582-7445

Volume: 12;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 63;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: computer aided software engineering | formal specifications | graphical user interfaces | programming environments | user centered design

End-user development is an emerging computer science discipline that provides programming paradigms, techniques, and tools suitable for users not trained in software engineering. One of the techniques that allow ordinary computer users to develop their own applications without the need to learn a classic programming language is a GUI-level programming based on programming-by-demonstration. To build wizard-based tools that assist users in application development and to verify the correctness of user programs, a computer-supported method for GUI-level data dependency analysis is necessary. Therefore, formal model for GUI representation is needed. In this paper, we present a finite state machine for modeling the data dependencies between GUI controls and GUI actions. Furthermore, we present an algorithm for automatic construction of finite state machine for arbitrary GUI application. We show that proposed state aggregation scheme successfully manages state explosion in state machine construction algorithm, which makes the model applicable for applications with complex GUIs.
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Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona