SCG News

PerfVis: Pervasive Visualization in Immersive Augmented Reality for Performance Awareness

Leonel Merino, Mario Hess, Alexandre Bergel, Oscar Nierstrasz, and Daniel Weiskopf. PerfVis: Pervasive Visualization in Immersive Augmented Reality for Performance Awareness. In Companion of the 2019 ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering, ICPE ’19 p. 13—16, ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2019. Details.

Abstract

Developers are usually unaware of the impact of code changes to the performance of software systems. Although developers can analyze the performance of a system by executing, for instance, a performance test to compare the performance of two consecutive versions of the system, changing from a programming task to a testing task would disrupt the development flow. In this paper, we propose the use of a city visualization that dynamically provides developers with a pervasive view of the continuous performance of a system. We use an immersive augmented reality device (Microsoft HoloLens) to display our visualization and extend the integrated development environment on a computer screen to use the physical space. We report on technical details of the design and implementation of our visualization tool, and discuss early feedback that we collected of its usability. Our investigation explores a new visual metaphor to support the exploration and analysis of possibly very large and multidimensional performance data. Our initial result indicates that the city metaphor can be adequate to analyze dynamic performance data on a large and non-trivial software system.

Posted by scg at 11 June 2019, 9:32 am comment link

Search Interface Implementation for a Learning Management System

Manuela Eschler. Search Interface Implementation for a Learning Management System. Bachelor’s thesis, University of Bern, February 2019. Details.

Abstract

The company Swissteach produces a Learning Management System (LMS) called Global Teach ®, which lacks a good search engine. This project is about the implementation of a search engine for an LMS, focusing on iteratively designing and evaluating the search interface. Two search interface prototypes with different approaches were tested by users of Global Teach. The first prototype is focused on ease of use and mimics the Google search interface, while the second prototype concentrates on supporting the user if the search fails to produce useful results. Based on the feedback of the testers, both prototypes were combined into one. The resulting search interface is initially simple, and provides features which can be enabled to refine the search results. These features aim to give the user the impression of being in charge, which can lead to a positive search experience.

Posted by scg at 12 February 2019, 2:15 pm comment link

Pervasive Visualization in Immersive Augmented Reality for Software Performance Monitoring

Mario Hess. Pervasive Visualization in Immersive Augmented Reality for Software Performance Monitoring. Bachelor’s thesis, University of Bern, February 2019. Details.

Abstract

Developers are usually unaware of the impact of code changes to the performance of software systems. Although developers can analyze the performance of a system by executing, for instance, a performance test to compare the performance of two consecutive versions of the system, changing from a programming task to a testing task would disrupt the development flow. Most performance visualization tools provide the user with a detailed view, which can be overwhelming and cause a high cognitive load. In this thesis, we propose the use of a city visualization that dynamically provides developers a pervasive view of the continuous performance of a system and lessens the cognitive load required to monitor it. We use an immersive augmented reality device (Microsoft HoloLens) to display our visualization and extend the integrated development environment on a computer screen to use the physical space. We report on technical details of the design and implementation of our visualization tool. Our effort explores a new visual metaphor to support the exploration and analysis of possibly very large and multidimensional performance data. Our initial result indicates that the city metaphor can be effectually employed to analyze dynamic performance data on a large and non-trivial software system. Additionally, we conducted an initial user study with ten participants, comparing performance and user experience in immersive augmented reality to that with a standard computer screen, and we report on the results. We asked participants to complete a set of ten tasks inspired by questions that arise from performance issues. To measure performance, we collected correctness, completion time and recollection of users. We measured user experience by collecting emotions that participants experienced during experiments, and we also measured perceived cognitive load. We observe that participants achieve comparable performance in immersive augmented reality and with a computer screen. We found that developers felt: (i) interested, (ii) open but also (iii) confused and (iv) angry when working in immersive augmented reality while achieving comparable performance to working with a standard computer screen.

Posted by scg at 11 February 2019, 12:15 pm comment link

The False False Positives of Static Analysis

Yuriy Tymchuk. The False False Positives of Static Analysis. In SATToSE’17: Pre-Proceedings of the 10th International Seminar Series on Advanced Techniques & Tools for Software Evolution, June 2017. Details.

Abstract

Static analysis tools may produce false positive results, which negatively impact the overall usability of these tools. However, even a correct static analysis report is sometimes classified as a false positive if a developer does not understand it or does not agree with it. Lately developers’ classification of false positives is treated on a par with the actual static analysis performance which may distort the knowledge about the real state of static analysis. In this paper we discuss various use cases where a false positive report is not false and the issue is caused by another aspects of static analysis. We provide an in-depth explanation of the issue for each use case followed by recommendations on how to solve it, and thus exemplify the importance of careful false positive classification.

Posted by scg at 7 February 2019, 4:15 pm comment link

Software Developers' Information Needs

Jonas Richner. Software Developers’ Information Needs. Bachelor’s thesis, University of Bern, February 2019. Details.

Abstract

Nowadays software shapes most aspects of our daily life, and application developers are increasingly confronted with complex scenarios which demand collecting information from various sources. As developers face many challenges in seeking desired information, a substantial amount of research has been performed to understand software developers’ information needs. However, little is known regarding researchers’ use of methods and measures to quantify developers’ information needs, and there has not been any effort yet to systematically select, review, and synthesize developers’ information needs that are presented in the literature. Consequently, we investigate this domain by conducting a systematic literature review. Through our search strategy, we identified 60 relevant papers. We discovered that the most common way to quantify developers’ information needs is to use surveys, and that some of the most valuable information that developers need to make progress considers the rationale (e.g., why is this implemented this way?), awareness (e.g., what have my coworkers been doing?), and the implications of a code change (e.g., what might break?). This thesis presents the review’s findings, which we believe will help scientists studying developers’ information needs by enabling them to use appropriate methods and measures for their research, as well as assist researchers in developing tools and practices that are better aligned with developers’ needs.

Posted by scg at 6 February 2019, 5:03 pm comment link
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