Skip navigation

John Stasko, Georgia Institute of Technology

Visualization for Information Exploration and Analysis

Making sense of data becomes more challenging as the data grows larger and becomes more complex. If a picture truly can be worth a thousand words, then clever visualizations of data should hold promise in helping people with sense-making tasks. I firmly believe that visual representations of data can help people to better explore, analyze, and understand it, thus transforming the data into information. In this talk, I will explain how visualization and visual analytics help people make sense of data and I will provide many such examples. I also will describe my present research into visualization for investigative analysis. This project explores how visual analytics can help investigators examine a large document collection in order to discover embedded stories and narratives scattered across the documents in the collection.

John Stasko


John Stasko is a Professor and the Associate Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he is Director of the Information Interfaces Research Group. His research is in the area of Human-Computer Interaction with a specific focus on information visualization and visual analytics. He has published extensively on these topics and others during his academic career. Stasko is Director of the Georgia Tech component of the Southeast Regional Visualization and Analytics Center. He is on the editorial board of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Journal of Visual Languages and Computing, and Information Visualization. He was General Chair in 2007 and Papers Co-Chair in 2005 and 2006 for the IEEE Information Visualization (InfoVis) Conference, and he was Program Chair for the 2003 ACM Symposium on Software Visualization and the 2000 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages.

Wilhelm Schäfer, University of Paderborn

Model Driven Development with Mechatronic UML

Visual languages form a constituent part of a well-established software development paradigm, namely model driven development. The structure and functionality of the software is precisely specified by a model which can be formally analyzed concerning important (safety and liveness) properties of the system under construction. Executable code is automatically generated from the model.

Although model-driven development has been recognized as a potential to improve significantly the productivity and quality of software. success stories are restricted to particular domains, mainly in business applications. Other domains, especially embedded systems employ model-driven development only in very special cases and on a limited scale, namely in the continuous world of control theory. This is due to the complex nature of the software of advanced mechatronic (or embedded) systems which includes complex coordination between system components under hard real-time constraints and reconfiguration of the control algorithms at runtime to adjust the behavior to the changing system goals. In addition, code generation must obey very limited and very specific resources of the target platform, i.e. the underlying hardware or operating system. Finally, techniques for modeling and verifying this kind of systems have to address the interplay between the discrete world of complex computation and communication and the "traditional" world of continuous controllers. The safety-critical nature of these systems demands support for the rigorous verification of crucial safety properties.

Our approach, called Mechatronic UML addresses the above sketched domain by proposing a coherent and integrated model-driven development approach. Modeling is based on a syntactically and semantically rigorously defined and partially refined subset of UML. It uses a slightly refined version of component diagrams, coordination patterns, and a refined version of statecharts including the notion of time. Code generation obeys the resource limits of a target platform. Verification of safety properties is based on a special kind of compositional model checking to make it scalable. The approach is illustrated using an existing cooperative project with the engineering department, namely the Railcab project ( This project develops a new type of demand-driven public transport system based on existing and new rail technology.

Wilhelm Schäfer


Dr. Wilhelm Schäfer, born August 16th 1954, got his PhD degree 1986 in the area of software engineering from the University of Osnabrück, Germany. 1986 -1987 he spent as a Visiting Assistant Professor at McGill University Montreal, Canada. From 1986 to 1990 he was head of research and development at STZ company for Software Technology ltd., Dortmund. From 1991 to 1994 he was Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Dortmund. Since 1994 he is full professor and chair, head of Software Engineering Group, Department of Computer Science, University of Paderborn. Prof. Schäfer is also the chair of the International Graduate School of the University of Paderborn and deputy chair of the collaborative research centre (CRC 614 Self-Optimization in Mechanical Engineering). He was and is member of many national and international program committees in software engineering. He is a member of the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering Editorial Board, he was PC-Chair of the 5th European Software Engineering Conference (ESEC), Barcelona in 1995, PC co-chair of the 23rd International Conference on Software Engineering in Toronto in 2001 and is General Chair of the 30th International Conference on Software Engineering to be held in Leipzig in 2008.