AsbruView: Capturing Complex, Time-oriented Plans – Beyond Flow-Charts

Flow charts are one of the standard means of representing actions or algorithms in many domains. However, applying flow charts in dynamically changing environments, like clinical treatment planning, reveals their limitations. Flow charts do not include the temporal dimension in their design, do not allow complex paths through many components, and scale very badly. These are only some of the requirements for a means of communicating clinical therapy plans. As an alternative, a plan-representation language called Asbru was designed, which overcomes all the limitations of flow charts. It is, however, impossible for a domain expert to work with Asbru directly. Therefore, a visualisation called AsbruView is presented here, which uses three-dimensional diagrams and metaphors — running tracks and traffic signs — to make the parts of Asbru easily understandable and usable. Even very complex clinical plans are easy to understand with AsbruView.

  • Robert Kosara, Silvia Miksch, Yuval Shahar, and Peter Johnson, AsbruView: Capturing Complex, Time-oriented Plans – Beyond Flow-Charts, in Anderson, Meyer, Olivier, Diagrammatic Representation and Reasoning, 2002. Abstract BibTeX

    Flow charts are one of the standard means of representing actions or algorithms in many domains. However, applying flow charts in dynamically changing environments, like clinical treatment planning, reveals their limitations. Flow charts do not include the temporal dimension in their design, do not allow complex paths through many components, and scale very badly. These are only some of the requirements for a means of communicating clinical therapy plans. As an alternative, a plan-representation language called Asbru was designed, which overcomes all the limitations of flow charts. It is, however, impossible for a domain expert to work with Asbru directly. Therefore, a visualisation called AsbruView is presented here, which uses three-dimensional diagrams and metaphors — running tracks and traffic signs — to make the parts of Asbru easily understandable and usable. Even very complex clinical plans are easy to understand with AsbruView.

    @inbook {Kosara:DRR:2002,
    	key: {Kosara:DRR:2002},
    	title: {AsbruView: Capturing Complex, Time-oriented Plans – Beyond Flow-Charts},
    	author: {Robert Kosara and Silvia Miksch and Yuval Shahar and Peter Johnson},
    	venue: {Diagrammatic Representation and Reasoning},
    	editor: {Anderson, Meyer, Olivier},
    	pdf: {no},
    	abstract: {Flow charts are one of the standard means of representing actions or algorithms in many domains. However, applying flow charts in dynamically changing environments, like clinical treatment planning, reveals their limitations. Flow charts do not include the temporal dimension in their design, do not allow complex paths through many components, and scale very badly. These are only some of the requirements for a means of communicating clinical therapy plans. As an alternative, a plan-representation language called Asbru was designed, which overcomes all the limitations of flow charts. It is, however, impossible for a domain expert to work with Asbru directly. Therefore, a visualisation called AsbruView is presented here, which uses three-dimensional diagrams and metaphors — running tracks and traffic signs — to make the parts of Asbru easily understandable and usable. Even very complex clinical plans are easy to understand with AsbruView.},
    	year: {2002},
    }