A suite of visual languages for model-driven development of statistical surveys and services

Chul Hwee Kim, John Grundy, John Hosking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To provide statistician end users with a visual language environment for complex statistical survey design and implementation. 

Methods: We have developed, in conjunction with professional statisticians, the Statistical Design Language (SDL), an integrated suite of visual languages aimed at supporting the process of designing statistical surveys, and its support environment, SDLTool. SDL comprises five diagrammatic notations: survey diagrams, data diagrams, technique diagrams, task diagrams and process diagrams. SDLTool provides an integrated environment supporting design, coordination, execution, sharing and publication of complex statistical survey techniques as web services. SDLTool allows association of model components with survey artefacts, including data sets, metadata, and statistical package analysis scripts, with the ability to execute elements of the survey design model to implement survey analysis. 

Results: We describe three evaluations of SDL and SDLTool: use of the notation by expert statistician to design and execute surveys; useability evaluation of the environment; and assessment of several generated statistical analysis web services. 

Conclusion: We have shown the effectiveness of SDLTool for supporting statistical survey design and implementation. 

Practice implications: We have developed a more effective approach to supporting statisticians in their survey design work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-125
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Visual Languages and Computing
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Domain-specific visual languages
  • Information visualisation
  • Statistical surveys
  • Web service generation

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