Conceptual Modeling using Interactive Paper

Type of Thesis: 
Master Thesis

Creating graph-based and node-link type of diagrams is a crucial activity in conceptual modeling techniques such as UML, ER, and ORM. Although a lot of different software tools exist to support this activity, in general creating models with such tools is time consuming, awkward, and very often a frustrating activity. This is mainly due to the limitations of the traditional human-computer interaction techniques (mouse, keyboard, click, drag and drop principles), as well as the lack of flexibility for entering information (usually a strict sequences for entering the model information is required). Many people find it much easier and faster to make their diagram on paper. 

122 With the availability of digital pens and interactive paper, i.e., a smart pen (which is a pen that allows to communicate with a computer by writing on special paper, e.g., the Livescribe pen, it should be possible to accommodate these people. 


Therefore, the goal of this thesis is to investigate the state of the art on recognition software for hand-made drawings and text and how this can be used to develop a tool to create conceptual models using such a smart pen. The goal is to develop a working prototype of such a tool and perform a user evaluation to investigate its usability.





Background Knowledge: 
  • Conceptual Modeling knowledge
  • Good programming skills
Technical challenges: 

●      Investigating handwriting recognition for diagram components and text

●      Investigating related work on sketch-based design tools

●      Figuring out how to transfer drawings (sketches) into models

●      Formulating the requirements for the smart pen application

●      Figuring out how to communicate with the digital pen

●      Setting up and performing an experiment to study the usability of the application

Olga De Troyer
Pejman Sajjadi
Academic Year: