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Past, Present, and Future of 3D Software Visualization - A Systematic Literature Analysis [IVAPP 2015]

Past, Present, and Future of 3D Software Visualization - A Systematic Literature Analysis [IVAPP 2015]

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The ongoing 2D vs. 3D research debate from information visualization also affects software visualization. There are many 2D, 3D, and combinations of 2D and 3D visualizations for software representing its structure, behavior, or evolution. This study contributes findings to this debate and presents the results of analyzing the applications of 3D in software visualization with the objectives to outline the state-of-the-art, to reveal trends, and to identify research gaps. The analysis combined a systematic mapping study to get an overview and a systematic literature review to gain deeper insights. The relevant papers were identified by three different search strategies (manual browsing, keyword, and backward search). Starting with a set of 4386 publications from the fields of information and software visualization 155 relevant papers dealing with 2D & 3D or 3D software visualizations were identified. These papers were analyzed according to dimensionality, aspect, year, evaluation method, and application of the third dimension. In a nutshell, the majority of 3D software visualizations represents the structural aspect, is either evaluated using case studies showing working examples or not evaluated at all, and applies a 2D layout using the third dimension for displaying software metrics.

In IVAPP'15: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Visualization Theory and Applications, 2015.

The ongoing 2D vs. 3D research debate from information visualization also affects software visualization. There are many 2D, 3D, and combinations of 2D and 3D visualizations for software representing its structure, behavior, or evolution. This study contributes findings to this debate and presents the results of analyzing the applications of 3D in software visualization with the objectives to outline the state-of-the-art, to reveal trends, and to identify research gaps. The analysis combined a systematic mapping study to get an overview and a systematic literature review to gain deeper insights. The relevant papers were identified by three different search strategies (manual browsing, keyword, and backward search). Starting with a set of 4386 publications from the fields of information and software visualization 155 relevant papers dealing with 2D & 3D or 3D software visualizations were identified. These papers were analyzed according to dimensionality, aspect, year, evaluation method, and application of the third dimension. In a nutshell, the majority of 3D software visualizations represents the structural aspect, is either evaluated using case studies showing working examples or not evaluated at all, and applies a 2D layout using the third dimension for displaying software metrics.

In IVAPP'15: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Visualization Theory and Applications, 2015.

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Past, Present, and Future of 3D Software Visualization - A Systematic Literature Analysis [IVAPP 2015]

  1. 1. IVAPP 2015: State-of-the-Art Report R. Müller Information Systems Institute, Leipzig University D. Zeckzer Institute of Computer Science, Leipzig University 10th March 2015 Past, Present, and Future of 3D Software Visualization - A Systematic Literature Analysis
  2. 2. 2 Motivation  Provide contributions to the 2D vs. 3D debate from a software visualization perspective  Research questions 1. Which workshops/conferences/journals include papers on 3D software visualization? 2. Which aspects of software (structure, behavior, evolution) are visualized with 3D? 3. How did 3D software visualization evolve over the last 22 years and what are current trends? 4. How is the usefulness of the proposed 3D software visualizations evaluated? 5. How is the third dimension used? © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  3. 3. 3 Related Work  Meta studies  Software visualization effectiveness  Algorithm visualization effectiveness  Surveys/Literature Reviews  Overview of software visualization  Overview of 3D software visualization  Static aspects of software visualization in 2D and 3D  Quality attributes and functional requirements for software visualization tools  Software visualization for reuse  Mapping study  State-of-the-art in validation of software visualization tools © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer [Seriai et al. 2014] [Hundhausen 1996] [Hundhausen, Douglas, Stasko 2002] [Gračanin, Matković, & Eltoweissy 2005] [Teyseyre & Campo 2009] [Caserta & Zendra 2011] [Kienle & Müller 2007] [Schots & Werner 2014]
  4. 4. 4 Combining Systematic Mapping Study and Literature Review © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  5. 5. 5 Review Scope © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer Characteristic Categories Focus Research Outcomes Research Methods Theories Applications Goal Integration Criticism Central issues Organisation Historical Conceptual Methodological Perspective Neutral Representation Espousal of Position Audience Specialised Scholars General Scholars Practioneers/Politi- cians General Public Coverage Exhaustive Exhaustive and Selective Representative Central/Pivotal [Cooper 1988]
  6. 6. 6 Classification Scheme © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer Facet Category Dimensionality [Stasko 1993] 2D and 3D 3D Aspect [Diehl 2007] Structure Behavior Evolution Year 1991-2013 Evaluation Method [Sjøberg, Dybå, & Jørgensen 2007; Andrews 2008; Lanza et al. 2013; Seriai et al. 2014] Anecdotal Case Study (Example) Empirical Case Study (User) Controlled Experiment Questionnaire Analytic Guideline Checking Heuristic Evaluation Application of the third dimension [Reiss 1995] Extended 2D Full 3D 2D layout organized in 3D 3D as time Stacked views 3D for cognition Local fish-eye
  7. 7. 7 Search Strategies  Manual browsing of relevant proceedings (878 papers)  SoftVis (2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010), VisSoft (2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013), IWPC/ICPC (1998-2013), Dagstuhl Seminar on Software Visualization (2001), OOPSLA Workshop on Software Visualization (2001), and ICSE Workshop on Software Visualization (2001).  Keyword search: ‚software visualization‘ (2998 papers)  IEEE VIS (2000-2013), PacificVis (2008-2013), and EuroVis (2007- 2013)  Backward search (510 papers)  State-of-the-art reports in software visualization  Gračanin, Matković, & Eltoweissy 2005  Teyseyre & Campo 2009  Caserta & Zendra 2011 © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  8. 8. 8 Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria for Papers © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer  Inclusion  Deals with 2D and 3D or 3D software visualizations  Is peer reviewed including full papers, short papers, and posters  Is written in English  Exclusion  Third dimension serves only aesthetic purposes  Does not deal with software visualization, e.g., network visualization (hardware) or security 2D & 3D | 3D (155) Manual (80) Keyword (4) Backward (71) 2D (476) Man- ual (393) Key- word (10) Back- ward (73) Other (3609) Man- ual (405) Key- word Back- ward (220) All (4386 including 146 duplicates) (2984)
  9. 9. 9 1. Which workshops/conferences/journals include papers on 3D software visualization? © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  10. 10. 10 2. Which aspects of software are visualized with 3D? © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  11. 11. 11 3. How did 3D software visualization evolve over the last 22 years and what are current trends? (1991-2000) © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer Aspects Time
  12. 12. 12 3. How did 3D software visualization evolve over the last 22 years and what are current trends? (2001-2013) © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer Aspects Time
  13. 13. 13 Number of 2D & 3D or 3D publications over time © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  14. 14. 14 4. How is the usefulness of the proposed 3D software visualizations evaluated? © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer Aspects Evaluation Method
  15. 15. 15 5. How is the third dimension used? © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer Aspects Application
  16. 16. 16 Threats to Validity  Reliability  Described the used method in detail  Mentioned all sources  Objectivity  Selection of Papers  Increased representative level through triangulation (combining three different search methods)  Classification of Papers  Marked papers as ‚needs review‘ if classification was not unique  Discussed these papers  Internal and External Validity  Combined top-down/bottom-up approach for the classification scheme  Increased the representative level (see: Selection of Papers) © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  17. 17. 17 Findings and Conclusion  RQ1: Venue  Two thirds were published on VisSoft, SoftVis, IWPC/ICPC, and InfoVis  One third was published on 45 different venues  RQ2: Aspect  Aspect structure is dominant  Approaches combining structure & behavior & evolution are rare  RQ3: Evolution  Two thirds (67.7%) of the 3D software visualization papers were published between 2001 and 2008 with a peak in 2005  In 2013 the amount of 3D software visualization papers raised again  RQ4: Evaluation  Anecdotal (53%), Empirical (24%), None (16%), Analytical (7%)  More empirical validations should be addressed in future work © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  18. 18. 18 Findings and Conclusion  RQ5: Application of the 3rd dimension  Extended 2D  The 3rd dimension is used for software metrics, relations, instances  Full 3D/2D layout organized in 3D  The additional space of the 3rd dimension is used for optimal layout  3D as time/Stacked views  Means to represent dynamics mainly in behavioral and evolutionary views  3D for cognition  The 3rd dimension does not convey information  It is used to amplify cognition © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  19. 19. 19 Your Questions © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer  R. Müller: rmueller@wifa.uni-leipzig.de  D. Zeckzer: zeckzer@informatik.uni-leipzig.de
  20. 20. 20 References  Andrews, K., 2008. Evaluation comes in many guises. In Proceedings of the 2008 AVI workshop on BEyond time and errors: novel evaluation methods for information visualization. pp. 8–10.  Caserta, P. & Zendra, O., 2011. Visualization of the Static Aspects of Software: A Survey. In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. IEEE, pp. 913–933.  Cooper, H.M., 1988. Organizing knowledge syntheses: A taxonomy of literature reviews. In Knowledge in Society. pp. 104–126.  Diehl, S., 2007. Software visualization: visualizing the structure, behaviour, and evolution of software, Springer.  Gračanin, D., Matković, K. & Eltoweissy, M., 2005. Software Visualization. Innovations in Systems and Software Engineering, 1(2), pp.221–230.  Hundhausen, C.D., 1996. A meta-study of software visualization effectiveness. Available at: http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/~veupl/pub/MetaStudy.pdf [Accessed September 23, 2014].  Hundhausen, C.D., Douglas, S.A. & Stasko, J.T., 2002. A Meta-Study of Algorithm Visualization Effectiveness. Journal of Visual Languages & Computing, 13(3), pp.259–290.  Kienle, H.M. & Müller, H.A., 2007. Requirements of Software Visualization Tools: A Literature Survey. In 4th International Workshop on Visualizing Software for Understanding and Analysis. IEEE, pp. 2–9.  Lanza, M. et al., 2013. Manhattan: Supporting real-time visual team activity awareness. In 21st International Conference on Program Comprehension. pp. 207–210. © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer
  21. 21. 21 References  Reiss, S.P., 1995. An Engine for the 3D Visualization of Program Information. Journal of Visual Languages & Computing, 6(3), pp. 299–323.  Schots, M. & Werner, C., 2014. Using a Task-Oriented Framework for the Characterization of Visualization Approaches. In 2nd IEEE Working Conference on Software Visualization.  Seriai, A. et al., 2014. Validation of Software Visualization Tools : A Systematic Mapping Study. In 2nd IEEE Working Conference on Software Visualization.  Sjøberg, D.I.K., Dybå, T. & Jørgensen, M., 2007. The Future of Empirical Methods in Software Engineering Research. In Future of Software Engineering. IEEE, pp. 358–378.  Stasko, J. & Wehrli, J., 1993. Three-dimensional computation visualization. Proceedings 1993 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages, pp.100–107.  Teyseyre, A.R. & Campo, M.R., 2009. An overview of 3D software visualization. IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics, 15(1), pp.87–105. © 2015 by R. Müller & D. Zeckzer

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