Научная статья

Информатика, кибернетика и программирование

Nebogtikov The serch of new types of views is the importnt problems in computer visuliztion systems used for representtions of complex processes. Such pproches pper in vrious res of computer visuliztion see for exmple. We need n dditionl serch of more simple visuliztion metphors tht llow more effective nlysis of bstrct dt.



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V.L. Averbukh, I.O. Mikhaylov, P.V. Nebogatikova

The search of new types of views is the important problems in computer visualization systems used for representations of complex processes. Traditional methods do not always meet the new challenges. Now new approaches, based often on a very non-trivial mathematics, are suggested and some interesting papers were published. Such approaches appear in various areas of computer visualization (see for example [1,2]). Note, however, that the interpretation of the displays in these cases is also not trivial and requires nearly the same efforts as the design and development of appropriate types of views. We need an additional search of more simple visualization metaphors that allow more effective analysis of abstract data.

In this paper, we offer solutions to some problems of the process visualization.

The analysis of parallel programs based on message passing paradigm requires consideration of a number of concurrently executable processes whose work may depend on events occurring in a given process.

One may consider the time as an axis that is analogous to traditional spatial axes. That is the time may consider as a stream of events. Any change of this stream may break the whole chain of cause-and-effect relations. In this way the idea of the movement on time in both directions seems to be natural. One may consider a set of parallel processes with consistently flowing (and changed) streams of events. In this case effects of an event in a process attract the reaction, mentioning as the process in which it has occurred, and other processes. It is possible the correction of errors due to return back along the time axis and the interference in the sequence of events.

This approach can be described by the “Time Machine” metaphor. Note that the use of the “Time Machine” metaphor does not require any knowledge of the source (science fiction novels).

We have developed a prototype of the visualization component for the system of parallel process control and representation. This system may be used for debugging of parallel programs. We use the 3D figurativeness for visualization of processes. Processes are represented in the form of the color cylinders connected among themselves by thin “threads”. (Similarly to visual representations in VisuaLinda system [3].) Globules representing data are moved along these threads. Statuses of processes are depicted by colors. The user may navigate along the time axis and change the statuses of the processes.

The “Time Machine” metaphor also may be used to design and develop scientific visualization systems to present complex physical (chemical, biological, etc.) processes. The “time machine” metaphor may be considered as similar to traditional “Record-player” metaphor. But in the case of “Time Machine” there is the possibility of event changes described by “Butterfly Effect” metaphor. This scientific metaphor is used for example in researches devoted to chaotic [ill-posed] systems where small change of initial conditions attracts the big and often unpredictable effect. In the prototype realization of the scientific visualization system based on “Time Machine” metaphor natural types of figurativeness are used.

In systems of Software Visualization of parallel computing the inner structure of processes as a rule is represented as a text. Traditionally, the term “visualization” refers to graphical methods only. But it is not completely true. One can consider any type of visible data presentation. as visualization. It is possible to receive additional denotation effects by using different ways to display texts [4]. Program representations additionally may use techniques of text accentuations for program objects. Also text animation is a powerful tool to draw attention to those or other program objects. We hope that in such a way it will be possible to resolve an old problem - how in principle static text can represent dynamics of programs.

The prototype of the character visualization system is developed. Program texts are interpreted by the system. Additional denotation effects are used by changes to the size, color and style of text, as well as direct motion text and individual characters, similar to moving symbols in titles of films, animation and advertising. When a program is executed the substitution of the values of variables and execution animation are represented. The graphical representations are used when describing cycles, Boolean expressions and functions, and data structures.

It is possible to use the character visualization in within a visual debugger for parallel programs, developed on the basis of the “Time Machine” metaphor.


1. Hlawatsch M., Leube Ph., Nowak W., Weiskopf D. Flow Radar Glyphs—Static Visualization of Unsteady Flow with Uncertainty // IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol. 17, No. 12, December 2011, pp. 1949-1958.

2. A. N. M. Imroz Choudhury, Bei Wang, Rosen P., Pascucci V. Topological analysis and visualization of cyclical behavior in memory reference traces // IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis 2012, Korea, February 28 - March 2, 2012. IEEE 2012, pp. 9-16.

3. Koike H., Takada T., Masui T. VisuaLinda: A Framework for Visualizing Parallel Linda Programs // Proceeding 1997 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages. IEEE. 1997. pp. 174-178.

4. van Leeuwen Th. Towards a semiotics of typography // Information Design Journal + Document Design. 2006. 14(2), pp. 139-155.


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