AbstractsComputer Science

Software Visualization in 3D

by Richard Müller

Institution: Universität Leipzig
Department: Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Institut für Wirtschaftsinformatik
Degree: PhD
Year: 2015
Record ID: 1109636
Full text PDF: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:15-qucosa-164699


The focus of this thesis is on the implementation, the evaluation and the useful application of the third dimension in software visualization. Software engineering is characterized by a complex interplay of different stakeholders that produce and use several artifacts. Software visualization is used as one mean to address this increasing complexity. It provides role- and task-specific views of artifacts that contain information about structure, behavior, and evolution of a software system in its entirety. The main potential of the third dimension is the possibility to provide multiple views in one software visualization for all three aspects. However, empirical findings concerning the role of the third dimension in software visualization are rare. Furthermore, there are only few 3D software visualizations that provide multiple views of a software system including all three aspects. Finally, the current tool support lacks of generating easy integrateable, scalable, and platform independent 2D, 2.5D, and 3D software visualizations automatically. Hence, the objective is to develop a software visualization that represents all important structural entities and relations of a software system, that can display behavioral and evolutionary aspects of a software system as well, and that can be generated automatically. In order to achieve this objective the following research methods are applied. A literature study is conducted, a software visualization generator is conceptualized and prototypically implemented, a structured approach to plan and design controlled experiments in software visualization is developed, and a controlled experiment is designed and performed to investigate the role of the third dimension in software visualization. The main contributions are an overview of the state-of-the-art in 3D software visualization, a structured approach including a theoretical model to control influence factors during controlled experiments in software visualization, an Eclipse-based generator for producing automatically role- and task-specific 2D, 2.5D, and 3D software visualizations, the controlled experiment investigating the role of the third dimension in software visualization, and the recursive disk metaphor combining the findings with focus on the structure of software including useful applications of the third dimension regarding behavior and evolution.