ExplorViz

Overview

ExplorViz uses dynamic analysis techniques to provide live trace visualization of the communication in large software landscapes. It targets system and program comprehension in those landscapes while still providing details on the communication within an application. A landscape perspective enriches current system visualizations with additional abstraction levels for efficient comprehension of communication between hundreds of applications which is often encountered in, for instance, cloud environments. On the application level perspective, ExplorViz utilizes the 3D city metaphor combined with an interactive concept of showing only details that are in focus of the analysis. For best accessibility, ExplorViz is a web-based tool featuring cutting-edge technologies like WebGL and HTML 5.

Given the 3D city metaphor visualization of an application, we investigate new interaction styles and higher immersion for a more effective and efficient program comprehension process. For this purpose, we utilize uprising technologies like the Microsoft Kinect v2 and the Oculus Rift. Furthermore, we explore possibilities to physically touch and interact with the 3D software models by utilizing 3D printing. We evaluate those approaches in controlled experiments with real test subjects.

The usability and effectiveness of ExplorViz has been investigated in controlled experiments which resulted in increased efficiency and effectiveness over competing approaches.

Reference

How to cite ExplorViz:

Florian Fittkau, Alexander Krause, Wilhelm Hasselbring (2017): Software landscape and application visualization for system comprehension with ExplorViz. Information and Software Technology, Volume 87. pp. 259-277. DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infsof.2016.07.004.

Landscape Perspective


A landscape perspective enriches current system visualizations with additional abstraction levels for efficient comprehension of communication between hundreds of applications which is often encountered in, for instance, cloud environments. It utilizes automatic flow-based layouting called Klay Layered.

Application Level Perspective


On the application level perspective, ExplorViz utilizes the 3D city metaphor combined with an interactive concept of showing only details that are in focus of the analysis.

Elasticity


Processing monitoring information can take up a large amount of resources. Why should you pay for these if they are currently not required? ExplorViz provides the capability to scale with the workload and can also free allocated nodes if not required for the current workload.

Low Overhead


ExplorViz is designed for working out-of-the-box and is specifially designed to provide only important monitoring data. The information is gathered on the monitored system and is transfered as fast as possible to another processing node. Due to this approach, we ensure low monitoring overhead.