Depiction of Additional Node-related Elements in Graph-based Software Visualisations

Yu, Yijun; Wermelinger, Michel; Kaiya, Haruhiko and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2008). Depiction of Additional Node-related Elements in Graph-based Software Visualisations. Technical Report 2008/18; Department of Computing, The Open University.



Many of the ways to depict software are based on graphs, although what nodes and edges represent differ from visualisation to visualisation. In this paper we present a lightweight approach to enrich graph-based visualisations so that nodes can represent more information. The idea is to show in each node a rectangle of pixels, each representing a certain element associated to the node, and the colour of each pixel representing up to three attributes of that element. The order of the pixels is user defined and may convey additional information. The approach is generic and allows data obtained through completely different reverse engineering processes to be shown together in a compact way that preserves the meaning of the graph layout. We illustrate our approach by showing how software architecture and defects can be related: a graph depicting the high-level components and their dependencies is enriched with information about the bugs reported for each component.

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