Standard Article

Visual Software Engineering

  1. Kang Zhang1,
  2. Jun Kong2,
  3. Jiannong Cao3

Published Online: 14 DEC 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse406

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Zhang, K., Kong, J. and Cao, J. 2007. Visual Software Engineering. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson

  2. 2

    The North Dakota State University Fargo, North Dakota

  3. 3

    Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 DEC 2007


Graphical notations, such as data flow diagrams and class diagrams, are widely used in software design and development. While being easy to understand and convenient to use, these graphical notations are not amendable to automated verification and transformation. This article provides an overview on visual assistance in software engineering, and it focuses on a graph grammar approach to visual software modeling, architectural design, and evolution. A graph grammar enables a high-level abstraction of the general organization of a class of software architectures, and it forms a basis for formal analysis and transformations. In this approach, software verification is performed through a syntax analyzer. Architectural evolution is achieved by applying predefined transformation rules.


  • software engineering;
  • visual languages;
  • graph grammars