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eCITY: A tool to track software structural changes using an evolving city

: Khan, Taimur; Barthel, Henning; Ebert, Achim; Liggesmeyer, Peter


IEEE Computer Society; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
29th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, ICSM 2013. Proceedings : 22-28 September 2013, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society Conference Publishing Services (CPS), 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7685-4981-1
International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM) <29, 2013, Eindhoven>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software architecture; visualization; software maintenance; software evolution

One of the main challenges in the maintenance of large-scale software systems is to ascertain the underlying software structure and to analyze its evolution. In this paper we present a tool to assist software architects and developers in not only understanding the software structure of their system but more importantly to track the insertion, removal, or modification of components over time. The tool is based on the idea that the above-mentioned stakeholders should have an intuitive, efficient, and effective means to detect when, where, and what structural changes took place. The main components include an interactive visualization that provides an overview of these changes. The usefulness of this approach is highlighted through a summary of a user study we conducted.