Visualizing live software systems in 3D

  • Greevy O
  • Lanza M
  • Wysseier C
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Abstract

The analysis of the runtime behavior of a software system yields vast amounts of information, making accurate interpretations difficult. Filtering or compression techniques are often applied to reduce the volume of data without loss of key information vital for a specific analysis goal. Alternatively, visualization is generally accepted as a means of effectively representing large amounts of data. The challenge lies in creating effective and expressive visual representations that not only allows for a global picture, but also enables us to inspect the details of the large data sets. We define the focus of our analysis to be the runtime behavior of features. Static structural visualizations of a system are typically represented in two dimensions. We exploit a third dimension to visually represent the dynamic information, namely object instantiations and message sends. We introduce a novel 3D visualization technique that supports animation of feature behavior and integrates zooming, panning, rotating and on-demand details. As proof of concept, we apply our visualization technique to feature execution traces of an example system.

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Authors

  • Orla Greevy

  • Michele Lanza

  • Christoph Wysseier

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