Model Visualization in the SADL-IDE

Last revised 05/22/2015 by A. W. Crapo

The SADL-IDE Version and later includes the ability to visualize "neighborhoods" of a concept (class, property, or individual) as a graph. For classes, two graphs are generated: a class hierarchy graph and a property domains and ranges graph. This visualization capability uses GraphViz and must be configured as described below. When properly configured, the graphs are displayed in a separate "dot" window. A corresponding PNG image file is also created in the project's Temp folder.

SADL-IDE versions after April, 2015 include the ability to see the import tree of any file. Right-click on the target SADL file in the Project Explorer and select "Sadl Actions" -> "Graph Imports". The result will be a graph of imports with the selected model as the highlighted node.

GraphViz can be downloaded from and should be placed on a path without spaces or other "difficult" path characters. Once installed, there should be a "bin" folder under the installation directory with "dot" and "dotty" executables.

The SADL-IDE is configured to use GraphViz by opening global preferences (Window -> Preferences) . Click on "Sadl" in the left-side menu. The global preferences will include, at the bottom, "GraphViz bin folder". Fill in the path to the bin folder of your installation, e.g., "C:\win32app\graphviz\release\bin".

A neighborhood can now be graphed by opening a model in the SADL editor and selecting the entire text of a concept name, then right-clicking for a context menu and selecting "Graph Neighborhood".

Note that arbitrary graphs can also be created with the "Ask: construct..." directive in a SADL model. (See The result of the SPARQL construct will be displayed as graph using GraphViz as described above.