Attribute Grammars for Incremental Scene Graph Rendering


  • GRAPP 2019 - Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Computer Graphics Theory and Applications, Prague, Czech Republic, 25-27 February, 2019. ), 77-88
  • Publication Type: Conference Paper with Conference Talk
  • Year: 2019
  • Keywords: Scenegraph, Attribute Grammar, Rendering Engine, Domain-Specific-Languages, Incremental Evaluation


Scene graphs, as found in many visualization systems are a well-established concept for modeling virtual scenes in computer graphics. State-of-the-art approaches typically issue appropriate draw commands while traversing the graph. Equipped with a functional programming mindset we take a different approach and utilize attribute grammars as a central concept for modeling the problem domain declaratively. Instead of issuing draw commands imperatively, we synthesize first class objects describing appropriate draw commands. In order to make this approach practical in the face of dynamic changes to the scene graph, we utilize incremental evaluation, and thereby avoid repeated evaluation of unchanged parts. Our application prototypically demonstrates how complex systems benefit from domain-specific languages, declarative problem solving and the implications thereof. Besides from being concise and expressive, our solution demonstrates a real-world use case of self-adjusting computation which elegantly extends scene graphs with well-defined reactive semantics and efficient, incremental execution.


A extended version of the implementation, part of the aardvark platform can be found here. The concept is heavily used by the aardvark rendering engine. A simple demo showing extensibility can be found here.


We would like to thank Robert F. Tobler for all his contributions --- rest in peace.

VRVis is funded by BMVIT, BMDW, Styria, SFG and Vienna Business Agency in the scope of COMET - Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies (854174) which is managed by FFG.


Paper (Draft): [1 MB]
  This is the authors preprint. The definitive version of the paper is be available at ??.
Extended Journal Paper (Draft): [7 MB]
  This is the authors preprint. The definitive version of the paper is be available at
the Springer.

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