Composing an Initial Domain-Specific Modeling Language Notation by Reusing Icons

Ben Roelens*, Rob Ebben, Rogier van de Wetering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


Domain-Specific Modeling Languages (DSMLs) increasingly gain attention in the field of Conceptual Modeling as they target a particular problem in a delineated application domain by using concepts that are tailored to end-users. As such, DSMLs provide a flexible approach that can be used in different application domains. To realize their potential, the graphical notation of a DSML must be aligned with the users’ knowledge and perceptions. In particular, an intuitively understandable DSML notation is important to facilitate communication with the end-users. Therefore, we propose a technique for composing an initial DSML notation by reusing icons. This technique is applied in the context of the Process-Goal Alignment (PGA) business modeling technique. Furthermore, we empirically evaluate the proposed technique by an experiment with 85 business users, in which we compare the intuitiveness of the newly developed and existing PGA notations. The results show that the semantic transparency of the newly developed notation is significantly higher than the existing PGA notations. More specifically, the composition technique based on the reuse of icons enables to derive the meaning of DSML concepts correctly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBusiness Modeling and Software Design
Subtitle of host publication13th International Symposium, BMSD 2023, Utrecht, The Netherlands, July 3–5, 2023, Proceedings
Editors Boris Shishkov
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-36757-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-36756-4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023
Event13th International Symposium on Business Modeling and Software Design - OU, Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 3 Jul 20235 Jul 2023
Conference number: 13

Publication series

SeriesLecture Notes in Business Information Processing


Conference13th International Symposium on Business Modeling and Software Design
Abbreviated titleBMSD 2023
Internet address


  • Domain-Specific Modeling Language
  • experimental evaluation
  • icon
  • notation


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