May 20 – 25 , 2001, Dagstuhl Seminar 01211

Software Visualization


Stephan Diehl (KU Eichstätt/Ingolstadt, DE)
Peter Eades (University of Sydney, AU)
John T. Stasko (Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, US)

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Dagstuhl Service Team


List of Participants
Dagstuhl's Impact: Documents available
Dagstuhl-Seminar-Report 307


Software visualization is concerned with the static visualization as well as the animation of algorithms, programs and the data they manipulate. Since Goldsteins and von Neumanns demonstration of the usefullness of flowcharts in 1947 visual representations have played an important role in understanding and designing programs. Software visualization is done in many areas of computer science, but often not realized as a field of its own. As a result papers are published at conferences and workshops of these areas reinventing the wheel over and over again. As David L. Parnas said, some of the best work has been done by software developers for their own use, not by researchers. Recently there have been several workshops with mostly local participation:

  • Workshop on Software Visualization at SIGCHI, Boston, 1994 (resulting in a collection of seminal papers: Software Visualization, Stasko et. al., MIT Press, 1998)
  • Workshop on Software Visualization 1995, 1997 and 1999, Australia
  • Workshop on Evolutionary Computation Visualization at GECCO99, Orlando, Florida, 1999
  • GI-Workshop Softwarevisualisierung, Dagstuhl, Germany, 2000
  • Program Visualization Workshop at ACM ITiCSE, Finnland, 2000

The goal of the Dagstuhl Seminar on Software Visualization is to bring together practioneers and researchers working in the area of software visualization as well as those working in related areas including database visualization, graph drawing and visual programming.

The seminar will not be restricted to theoretical foundations and technical applications, but will as well address psychological and educational aspects. Eventually we hope that the seminar will foster software visualization and its impact on the way we teach, learn and design programs.

Topics of interest include but are not restricted to

  • Animation of all kinds of algorithms, including numerical, geometric, genetic, distributed and graph algorithms
  • Program visualization
  • Visualization of parallel programs
  • Visualization in software engineering, e.g. UML
  • Visualization of data and processes in applications
  • Educational software in computer science, in particular visualization of computational models
  • Graph drawing algorithm for software visualization
  • Visualization of data base schemes
  • Visual debugging
  • 3D software visualization
  • Software visualization on the internet

The aim of the seminar is to provide a working environment, and we hope that these discussions will lead to a deeper insight into the problems of software visualization. In particular, we would like to ask all participants the following question: "Why is software visualization not widely used in education and software development?"

We will try to categorize software visualization techniques and evaluate the role of software visualization in education and software development both today and in the future. We are in particular looking for new approaches and new application domains.

The organizers of this seminar are convinced that your active participation will lead to new contacts and joint projects in the future.


In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.


Download overview leaflet (PDF).

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.


Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.