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Ye, EnTeamWATCH: Visualizing Development Activities Using a 3-D City Metaphor to Improve Conflict Detection and Team Awareness
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2017, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (Engineering and Technology)
Awareness of others’ activities has been widely recognized as essential in facilitating coordination in a team among Computer-Supported Cooperative Work communities. Several field studies on software developers in large software companies such as Microsoft showed that coworker and artifact awareness are the most common information needs for software developers; however, they are also the most frequently unsatisfied information needs. As a result, they may duplicate work, or create conflicts without knowing the status of others and the whole project. To address this problem, we propose a new approach to visualize the developer’s activities using a 3-D city metaphor and implement it in a workspace awareness tool named TeamWATCH (Team based Workspace Awareness Toolkit and Collaboration Hub). TeamWATCH extracts awareness information of artifacts, revisions, and developers from their local workspaces, version control repository, and bug tracking system. It then visualizes both real time and history awareness information together in a 3-D common view shared by the whole team. It also highlights active artifacts that are being changed locally via eye-catching animations and provides the customized personal view for each developer. The main contributions of this dissertation are 1) a 3-D software visualization scheme that improves workspace awareness and enhances team collaboration; 2) the design and implementation of the workspace awareness tool TeamWATCH using this visualization scheme; and 3) evaluations of the effectiveness of such awareness tools using TeamWATCH as an example in maintaining project awareness and detecting and resolving conflicts via three controlled use experiments. The experiment results showed that the subjects using TeamWATCH performed significantly better in software revision history and project evolution comprehension, and early conflict detection and resolution.

Committee:

Chang Liu (Advisor)

Subjects:

Computer Science

Keywords:

Software collaboration; software visualization; workspace awareness

Schendel, Joshua M.Facilitating Development in Software Engineering by Incorporating Version Control Systems into Immersive, Collaborative Virtual Environments
Master of Science (MS), Ohio University, 2009, Computer Science (Engineering and Technology)
Version control is a key aspect of software development. The snapshots of the system enable developers to quickly isolate the inception of bugs and track release versions, the authentication system tracks each developer’s contributions to the project, and sophisticated access control systems enable developers to safely work on the same project simultaneously. However, while version control systems are often rich with project data, very few offer visualizations that aid users in analyzing the information. This thesis explores a project by which a version control system was integrated within the 3D virtual environment of Second Life, allowing users to not only take advantage of custom three-dimensional dynamic visualizations of ongoing project data but also to leverage the rich in-world communication mechanisms to collaborate and share information. This system was deployed to a collection of graduate students with results showing that 3D visualizations aided comprehension of project data.

Committee:

Chang Liu, PhD (Advisor); Maartin Uijt de Haag, PhD (Committee Member); Frank Drews, PhD (Committee Member); Martin Mohlenkamp, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Electrical Engineering; Engineering

Keywords:

version control systems; software engineering; second life; software visualization; subversion; 3D environments; VCS; distributed development

Mosora, Daniel JMosaiCode: Supporting Software Evolution via Visual Exploration of Multidimensional Versioned Data
MS, Kent State University, College of Arts and Sciences / Department of Computer Science
MosaiCode is a tool for visualizing and analyzing metric data to aid in the process of software maintenance and evolution. It is based on the SeeSoft visual metaphor and presents data as a tile mosaic. The metaphor is further extended to incorporate an additional dimension, tile height, to support further data exploration through comparison. The tool supports the visualization and understanding of various characteristics and is scalable to large-scale software systems. Multiple coordinated views are used to enable natural, open-ended exploration of the data. The views are the mosaic visualization view, a hierarchy explorer with search functionality, a summary view containing a histogram related to the mosaic, and a single-entity information view. Each is updated along with changes in the others to provide focus and context to the information presented. The tool separates the data model from the visualization to allow extensibility on both ends. Finally, the tool is applied and evaluated in an industrial setting to assist project managers and software architects visualize data on code hot spots and churn.

Committee:

Jonathan Maletic (Advisor); Gwenn Volkert (Committee Member); Michael Collard (Committee Member); Ye Zhao (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Computer Science

Keywords:

software visualization

Jetty, Grace Havila HavilaAn Empirical Study Assessing the Impact of SeeIT 3D on Comprehension
Master of Computing and Information Systems, Youngstown State University, 2013, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems
Software visualizations are meant to help developers comprehend software systems. They are especially useful for large software systems with tens of thousands of classes.There have been many visualizations been proposed in the literature with relatively little empirical evidence showing their usefulness to developers. In this thesis, we conduct an empirical study to assess the impact a software visualization tool namely, SeeIT 3D (an Eclipse plug-in) has on performance of certain software tasks. Six different tasks in three different task categories, developed in the context of understanding an open-source system, GanttProject, written in Java. Ninety-seven subjects were recruited rom three different universities and split into two groups; one group used the SeeIT 3D plug-in while the other did not use the plug-in. The main goal was to determine the impact and added benefit of SeeIT 3D while performing typical software tasks within the Eclipse IDE. Results indicate SeeIT 3D performs significantly better in one task category namely overview tasks. There is also a significant difference in the way experts and novices solve tasks. These results indicate when software visualization tools are useful for developers. They might not be useful for all tasks but are worthwhile for others.

Committee:

Bonita Sharif, Ph.D (Advisor); John Sullins, Ph.D (Committee Member); Alina Lazar, Ph.D (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Computer Science

Keywords:

Empirical Study; Software Visualization; SeeIT 3D