Introduction to drawing structured diagrams in SDDL

Mathieu Bourgeois and Roger Villemaire
Université du Québec à Montréal
Play (35min) Download: MP4 | MP3

(Due to operator error, the speaker video for this talk was not recorded — apologies.)

We present SDDL, a Structured Diagram Description Language aimed at producing graphical representations for discrete mathematics and computer science. SDDL allows combining graphical objects (circles, lines, arrows, …) and LATEX boxes to produce diagrams representing discrete structures such as graphs, trees, etc.

In SDDL, one adds objects to a canvas in order to produce a drawing. Objects are either basic building blocks such as circles, lines, arrows or even already defined canvas. This allows reusing existing representations by integrating them at various positions in the main canvas. Furthermore, inner objects can always be referred to. It is hence easy to add linking objects, such as lines and arrows, between inner objects.

SDDL uses an object-oriented inspired syntax, using the dot to access attributes, such as specific points (center, corner, etc.), in a natural way. Diagrams are hence constructed by combining existing parts and linking them in various ways.

Our tool is implemented in Java, but, since SDDL offers its own simple syntax, no knowledge of Java is required in order to learn SDDL. The tool translates the SDDL input into Asymptote code and uses the Asymptote engine to produce EPS output.

SDDL is hence a simple and clear language in which one can combine graphical objects and LATEX code in order to produce structured diagrams such as those used in discrete mathematics and computer science.