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Models in FrameKit

To deal with graphical representations FrameKit distinguishes two notions, formalism and model:

  • A formalism describes a representation rules of a knowledge domain;
  • A model is an instance of formalism (Figure 1). It is one representation expressed using the related formalisms.

Models are formalism instances. A «tool palette» can be easily deduced from the formalism description. Its goal is to present the set of items that can be instanciated in a model. A model is the basic component on which users may apply services.

Model and Formalisms

Figure 1 shows the relation between a formalism (on the left) and a model associated to this formalism (on the right). A simple formalism dedicated to the description of a local network is defined on the left. It has three classes: two nodes («computer» and «hub») and one edge («link»). On the right a model designed according these rules is presented. Any object is identified by means of a set of labels (attributes in the sense of OO technology).

Figure 1 : Example of model associated to a formalism.

Hierarchical Models

Formalisms may be composed when they are hierarchical. In that case, some nodes are associated to another formalism. These nodes are called «boxes» and can be «opened» (when double clicking) to display its content in a new submodel.

Figure 2 : Example of hierarchical model.

Figure 2 is an example of hierarchical model made with the NET formalism (described in the formalism section). It is composed of three submodels (called pages in Macao). the main one is a NET, the two others ("small net" and "locnet#2") are LOCNETs.