A Heat Map for Software Visualizations based on the City Metaphor

Reck, Tim-Niklas (2020) A Heat Map for Software Visualizations based on the City Metaphor (Master thesis), Kiel University, Kiel, 83 pp

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The importance of modern and efficient software applications rises with the advancing digitalization and emergence of new fields of application for software systems. However, with a growing number of legacy software systems and the creation of new applications, their complexity and quantity of computed data increase. Thus, the maintainability, performance, and comprehensibility of said software systems suffer, and the needs for performance engineering and monitoring emerge. Dynamic software metrics provide a way of evaluating the quality and efficiency of certain processes and states within software systems during runtime. With these abstractions the comprehensibility of applications is increased, and thus the overall quality of software can be improved.
The monitoring tool ExplorViz provides the capabilities to monitor and visualize large software landscapes consisting of multiple software systems. However, in the current version the number of visualized metrics is restricted by the structure of the visualization, which applies the city metaphor. With our approach we add an additional layer to the visualization, which displays additional metrics in the form of heatmaps on top of the existing visualization. This feature enables the user to select different metrics, heatmap types and visualization styles to customize the monitoring experience. Furthermore, we developed a data model that allows an effortless addition of own metrics to the heatmap.
For the evaluation of this approach we conducted a formative usability study which consisted of a moderated usability experiment and the inquiry of questions which were handed to the test users in the form of a questionnaire. The results of this usability study provided positive feedback and suggestions for future improvements. With this validation of the usability of our implementation we can advise for the continuation and further development of this extension.

Document Type: Thesis (Master thesis)
Thesis Advisors: Hasselbring, Wilhelm and Krause, Alexander
Keywords: Heat Map, Software Visualizations, City Metaphor
Research affiliation: Kiel University > Software Engineering
Projects: ExplorViz
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2020 11:08
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2020 11:08
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/50134

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