Modeling the Structure of Spreadsheets

Christian Liguda
In: Kerstin Bach; Michael Meder (Hrsg.). Workshop on Knowledge and Experience Management. German Workshop on Knowledge and Experience Management (WM-2012), located at LWA-2012, September 12-14, Dortmund, Germany, Pages 13-17, Online:, 2012.


Spreadsheets are widely used in many different domains like business planning or science, e.g. for calculation, planning, statistical analysis or test evaluation. For these and many other domains it is important that spreadsheets are error free, easy to interpret, maintain and change. However, in the last years it has become more and more evident that spreadsheets are highly erroneous and hard to maintain. The main reason for this is the lack of high level structures in spreadsheets, which rather allow a more structured than a cell based view. In this paper we present an abstract model for spreadsheets, which is able to represent the underlying structure explicit and is independent of the concrete layout. This model is part of a project in which the abstract model is used to assist a user in creating and understanding large and complex spreadsheets.



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