Visualising Software as a Particle System
conference contributionposted on 2015-08-18, 10:08 authored by Simon Scarle, Neil Walkinshaw
Current metrics-based approaches to visualise un- familiar software systems face two key limitations: (1) They are limited in terms of the number of dimensions that can be projected, and (2) they use fixed layout algorithms where the resulting positions of entities can be vulnerable to mis- interpretation. In this paper we show how computer games technology can be used to address these problems. We present the PhysVis software exploration system, where software metrics can be variably mapped to parameters of a physical model and displayed via a particle system. Entities can be imbued with attributes such as mass, gravity, and (for relationships) strength or springiness, alongside traditional attributes such as position, colour and size. The resulting visualisation is a dynamic scene; the relative positions of entities are not determined by a fixed layout algorithm, but by intuitive physical notions such as gravity, mass, and drag. The implementation is openly available, and we evaluate it on a selection of visualisation tasks for two openly- available software systems.
CitationProceedings of the International Conference on Software Visualization (VISSOFT'15), September 27-28, 2015, Bremen, Germany
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Computer Science
SourceThe 3rd IEEE Working Conference on Software Visualization (co-located with the International Conference on Software Maintenance ICSM 2015), (VISSOFT'15) September 27-28, 2015, Bremen, Germany.
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)