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eCITY: Evolutionary software architecture visualization - an evaluation

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


Ebert, Achim (Ed.) ; International Federation for Information Processing -IFIP-:
Building bridges. HCI, visualization, and non-formal modeling : IFIP WG 13.7 Workshops on Human-Computer Interaction and Visualization, 7th HCIV@ECCE 2011, Rostock, Germany, August 23, 2011, and 8th HCIV@INTERACT 2011, Lisbon, Portugal, September 5, 2011; Revised selected papers
Berlin: Springer, 2014 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8345)
ISBN: 3-642-54893-8
ISBN: 978-3-642-54893-2 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-642-54894-9 (Online)
Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction and Visualization "Non-formal Modeling for Interaction Design" (HCIV@ECCE) <7, 2011, Rostock>
Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction and Visualization "Building Bridges - HCI and Visualization" (HCIV@INTERACT) <8, 2011, Lisbon>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software architecture; software comprehension; software evolution; experiment; visualization

An essential component in the evolution and maintenance of large-scale software systems is to track the structure of a software system to explain how a system has evolved to its present state and to predict its future development. Current mainstream tools facilitating the structural evolution of software architecture by visualization are confined with easy to integrate visualization techniques such as node-link diagrams, while more applicable solutions have been proposed in academic research. To bridge this gap, we have incorporated additional views to a conventional tool that integrates an interactive evolving city layout and a combination of charts. However, due to a limited access to the stakeholders it was not possible to solicit them for a formal modeling process. Instead, an early prototype was developed and a controlled experiment was conducted to illustrate the vital role of such in-situ visualization techniques when aiming to understanding the evolution of software architecture.