All-Purpose-Cross-Domain DAG Visualizer for Children

All-Purpose-Cross-Domain DAG Visualizer for Children

Post by scooter » Sun, 18 Apr 2004 07:37:49

Someone is considering to create a software tool, and it would
be nice to know if something like this already exists, and solicit
feedback and comments from the public.


A visual and simple and intuitive and multi-purpose 'drag-and-drop'
diagramming tool that allows children to visually create and
manage 'BNF grammar trees' ...
( aka 'recursive transitition networks')
( aka 'directed graphs')
( aka 'directed acyclic graphs')
( aka 'family tree diagrams' )
( aka __whatever__ )
Without them having to know what any of the technical terms actually


The basic idea behind this tool is to permit a child to represent
a relatively sophisticated 'grammar structure' without requiring
knowledge of the advanced underlying theoretical concepts.

The approach is to allow the child work with simple rudimentary
shapes as a way of representing structure. For example:

english_sentence =
( "The" + noun + verb ) OR
( "The" + adjective + noun + verb )

... could be presented (in visual format with rudimentary shapes) as ...

blue_triangle =
( white_square + red_circle + blue_circle ) OR
( white_square + purple_circle + red_circle + blue_circle )

[the above typographical syntax would be replaced by an interactive
visual diagram]

-- The "visual format" is simply a graphical depiction of shapes (nodes)
and connections (edges) in a graph that the child can manipulate using
the mouse or computer keyboard.
-- The applied semantics of 'blue_triangle' or 'red_circle' can be
defined by the user to mean anything she wants, (making the tool
'all-purpose'). Think of it this way, the rudimentary shapes are just
general-purpose "placeholders"; each of which operates like a cell
(or range of cells) in a spreadsheet. (aka Node = cell(s); Edge = relations)
-- Various options shall be available to allow easy recall of
the applied semantics for a particular rudimentary shape. (aka hover the
mouse over blue_triangle, and "English_Sentence" pops up as a tooltip).

-- Is there something out there like this that works as a 'general
purpose' tool? ('general purpose' meaning capable of plugging in to
a custom software package, or an existing package like a spreadsheet)
-- What is an optimal approach for designing an "alphabet" of rudimentary
shapes, where each "letter" of the alphabet is mutually distinguishable
and suitable as a mnemonic for any concievable underlying semantic
-- Any thoughts of comments?

All-Purpose-Cross-Domain DAG Visualizer for Children

Post by Nameles » Tue, 20 Apr 2004 00:12:47

InterModeller (Windows and Macintosh versions) might meet
(some of) your needs. Check out:

Mail sent to this email address is automatically deleted
(unread) on the server. Send replies to the newsgroup.