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.


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 link
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