Research Perspective on Supporting Software Engineering via Physical 3D Models

Fittkau, Florian, Koppenhagen, Erik and Hasselbring, Wilhelm (2015) Research Perspective on Supporting Software Engineering via Physical 3D Models [Paper] In: 3rd IEEE Working Conference on Software Visualization, 27-28 September 2015, Bremen, Germany.

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Building architects, but also civil or mechanical engineers often build from their designs physical 3D models for a better presentation, comprehension, and communication among stakeholders. Software engineers usually create visualizations of their software designs as digital objects to be presented on a screen only. 3D software visualization metaphors, such as the software city metaphor, provide a basis for exporting those on-screen software visualizations into physical models. This can be achieved by 3D-printers to transfer the advantages of real, physical, tangible architecture models from traditional engineering disciplines to software engineering.

We present a new research perspective of using physical models to support software engineering. Furthermore, we describe four envisioned usage scenarios for physical models which provide a plethora of new research topics. To examine the benefits of our concept, we investigate the first usage scenario by evaluating the impact of using physical models on program comprehension in teams through a first controlled experiment.

Since the usage of physical models had a diverging influence for our chosen task set, we report on the qualitative results in this paper. We observed that the physical models improved the team-based program comprehension process for specific tasks by initiating gesture-based interaction.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: 3D-printing, Software Visualization, City Metaphor
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Software Engineering
Kiel University > Kiel Marine Science
Related URLs:
Projects: ExplorViz
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2015 09:14
Last Modified: 29 Jul 2016 12:54

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