CAM supports the visualisation and editing of dependency data using multiple views - DSM, diagram and network. Each worksheet in a model has a set of views associated with it. One view is always created by default (eg a Diagram view for an ASM model).
To create a new view, while a window is open showing the worksheet:
In the main menu select Windows -> Current window -> manage views. (alternatively click the button immediately to the right of the rightmost drop-down list on the top toolbar, which looks like a window icon). This will create a dialog. Then:
- Click 'new view' (at the bottom of the dialog)
- Enter a name for the view and select the type of the view you wish to create (eg. Network, for a force-directed layout).
- Click OK. The new view will be displayed.
After creating additional views, you can switch between different views of the same data using the rightmost drop-down list on the top toolbar. The different views you create will be saved in the file, until deleted.
Multiple views of the same type can also be created - eg. two DSM views of a worksheet show the same dependency data but may have different sequencing (or clustering)
All views of a particular workseet are synchronised - adding, changing or deleting an element or dependency in one view will also update all the others.
The types of views which are available are described below.
Diagram views are the basic view for toolboxes such as the ASM. They allow models to be drawn using a simple interface, shown in the screenshot below. This interface is designed to be similar to general-purpose diagramming packages. Features include:
- Expandable worksheets. In CAM, it is easy to progressively create very large diagrams, expanding the worksheet as new nodes are added anywhere on the diagram. Use the gridline tools on the bottom toolbar to add or remove gridlines anywhere on the worksheet. For instance, to create more space horizontally, select the 'add vertical gridlines' tool from the bottom toolbar (looks like a set of vertical lines with a + icon). Click and hold in the location where you want to create the extra gridlines, then drag the mouse to the right to specify how much additional space you require. When the mouse is released, the additional gridlines will be created in the specified location. This allows a worksheet to be easily expanded to create space for more diagram nodes, or compacted to save space.
- Decompose a diagram into sub-worksheets. Each worksheet (ie. sheet of paper on which the diagram is drawn) can be decomposed into sub-sheets. Sub-sheets can be opened and closed by double-clicking, to show or hide detail. Using the toggle button on the top toolbar (which looks like a yellow box with four arrows emerging diagonally), you can choose between opening each sub-process on a new sheet (with inputs and outputs crossing the boundary) or 'stretching' the space on the existing sheet to make room for it.
- Decompose a diagram across multiple worksheets. It is also possible to create multiple worksheets in a diagram workbook. These can be conceptualised as splitting a model into multiple 'slides'. Nodes on different worksheets can be linked using the hyperlink tool as described below.
- Split edges using hyperlinks. Bi-directional hyperlinks allow nodes on a diagram to be joined to other nodes without creating an edge between them. The hyperlinks are shown on the diagram as small circles. Double-clicking one of these endpoints will cause the display to 'jump' to the other end. Hyperlinks can split an edge within a worksheet, across sub-sheets, across worksheets, or across workbooks. Hyperlinks are specific to the diagram view on which they are drawn.
- Use node shortcuts to reduce complexity of diagrams. Shortcuts can be created to a node on a diagram; this allows the item to be used in multiple places in the model (exactly like a shortcut in a file system). The shortcuts represent the same item as the original, but they can be connected independently in different parts of the diagram. This is another way to reduce the apparent complexity of a diagram while maintaining the underlying connectivity between elements in the model.
- Add mark-up. Simple mark-up (rectangles, text boxes, swimlanes and images) can be used to add information to a model drawn on a diagram view.
- Use automatic layouts. Some simple automatic layout algorithms can help visualise the structure of dependency data, which can be useful as a starting point to improving the layout manually (for fully-automatic layouts, see the network view below)
DSM (dependency structure matrix) views provide a compact way of visualising dependency data and discovering structural characteristics. A specific DSM toolbox is available, but the same functionality can be accessed for any model by creating a DSM view as explained above.
For more information on using the DSM functionality see: DSM toolbox documentation home.
Network views use a force-directed layout to visualise the connections between model elements. An example is shown in the screenshot below.
Network views do not allow the user to provide additional mark-up on a diagram.They also do not (for the moment) allow model data to be modified directly.
However, since they do not require manual layout, they can be useful for highlighting dependency structures in strongly-connected models, for instance created using the DSM toolbox.
- To lock elements in position (ie. pin them to the worksheet) on a network view, right-click the element. Right-click an already-locked element to unlock it. This can be useful for teasing out the structure of dependencies, especially in cases where the force-directed layout wants to put many nodes on top of each other.