A generic approach to supporting diagram differencing and merging for collaborative design

Akhil Mehra, John Grundy, John Hosking

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Differentiation tools enable team members to compare two or more text files, e.g. code or documentation, after change. Although a number of general-purpose differentiation tools exist for comparing text documents very few tools exist for comparing diagrams. We describe a new approach for realising visual differentiation in CASE tools via a set of plug-in components. We have added diagram version control, visual differentiation and merging support as component-based plug-ins to the Pounamu meta-CASE tool. The approach is generic across a wide variety of diagram types and has also been deployed with an Eclipse diagramming plug-in. We describe our approach's architecture, key design and implementation issues, illustrate feasibility of our approach via implementation of it as plug-in components and evaluate its effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes
EventAutomated Software Engineering Conference 2005 - Long Beach, United States of America
Duration: 7 Nov 200511 Nov 2005
Conference number: 20th
https://dl.acm.org/doi/proceedings/10.1145/1101908 (Proceedings)


ConferenceAutomated Software Engineering Conference 2005
Abbreviated titleASE 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityLong Beach
Internet address


  • CASE tools
  • Merging
  • Version control
  • Visual differencing

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