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The KIELER Lightweight Diagrams project aims at offering transient lightweight representations of models or parts of them, without incorporating complex editing facilities like graphical editors.
Instead graphical or textual representations are to be synthesized from a chosen fraction of a model base and dismissed if they are not needed anymore. This way the Model-View-Controller paradigm (MVC) shall be established at the users' front end of modeling tools. Although KLighD is intended to address graphical as well as textual transient views, the graphical ones are currently in the focus. The layout of those views is contributed by KIML.

In order to get started with realizing build up your own diagrams by means of KLighD we suggest to install our layout infrastructure into your Eclipse development environment as shown in the following picture (the GMF runtime is available in Eclipse modeling distributions anyway). This reduces the plugins you need to checkout in to workspace. In case you're interested in creating state machine diagrams we suggest you to install the Graphviz support, too. Note some of our provided features:

  • KIELER Lightweight Diagrams – Developer Resources & Examples:
    This feature includes KLighD's & KIML's runtime as well as a few developer tools (e.g. a convenient project wizard) and a few prepared example diagram synthesis implementations. Besides, all source bundles will be installed.
  • KIELER Layout – Graphviz support (optional):
    This feature enables the employment of Graphviz' layouters, dot is very popular for simple graphs with edge labels. Note that employing Graphviz requires to also install the native library,



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Clone our git repository called 'kieler-pragmatics' accessible via (you need to create an account on that portal first). Afterwards, import the following plugins into your workspace:

  • de.cau.cs.kieler.core.krendering
  • de.cau.cs.kieler.core.krendering.extensions
  • de.cau.cs.kieler.klighd
  • de.cau.cs.kieler.klighd.examples (you won't need it at runtime but it contains some exemplary diagram synthesis implementations)
  • de.cau.cs.kieler.klighd.piccolo
  • edu.umd.cs.piccolo


  • KIELER Layout – OGDF support (optional):
    This feature enables the employment of OGDF' layouters, its planarization is the recommended algorithm for arranging UML Class Diagrams. The required OGDF Server Binaries will be automatically installed, too!

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Now you only need to call DiagramViewManager.getInstance().createView(<someViewId>, <someViewTitle>, yourModel);, e.g. via a menu entry, and your diagram will show up.

Use Cases

  • Graphical representations of given models with at chosen level of detail on demand (querying);
    Example: Visualization of data structures:
  • Continuous maintenance of a graphical representation while a model is elaborated
  • Advanced navigation