Voigt, Stefan; Bohnet, Johannes; Döllner, Jürgen
25th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance
201 - 210
IEEE Computer Society Press
To understand software systems it is common practice to explore runtime information such as method calls. System behavior analysis can further be facilitated by additionally taking runtime data dependencies into account. In object oriented systems, a typical data dependency is the information about which objects are accessed by the traced method calls. To support software engineers in handling the massive amount of information that execution traces typically consist of, highly scalable visualizations are needed. In this paper, we propose a trace-visualization technique that (a) explicitly visualizes both, method calls and object accesses, and (b) provides high scalability to handle large execution traces. With regard to the visualization technique proposed, we give a systematic overview of visual patterns that are to be expected and of their meanings with respect to system behavior. Additionally, we present the results of three case-studies to show how our approach facilitates developers in comprehending the behavior of complex C++ software systems.