VISSOFT 2018 Summary

IEEE VISSOFT is the most important conference in the field of software visualization. The 6th edition of the VISSOFT working conference took place in Madrid from 18-19 September 2018. We, David Baum and Leonel Merino, were happy to attend VISSOFT again this year. The two-day program contained two keynotes, ten presentations of full technical papers and six presentations about new ideas and emerging results as well as tool demos – and many interesting discussions around them.

This year Helen Purchase opened VISSOFT with her keynote speech on “Experimental Pitfalls”. In an instructive and entertaining lecture she spoke openly about mistakes made in empirical evaluations of information visualizations – and how to avoid them. With her more than 20 years of experiences in empirical evaluations she had a lot of stories to tell, e.g., that user studies are often mentioned in the Future Work section, but are rarely done once the paper is published. Helen showed several examples, in which the future work was carried out and led to surprising results. She shared some tips from her vast experience conducting evaluations, for instance, that evaluations are hard to design and conduct, and that they can always be improved. She also mentioned that usually experiments using within-subjects design lead to more insightful analysis than the more “clean” experiments that use a between-groups design. The take home message of her presentation was: Do user studies and do future work!

Helen Purchase about empirical evaluations in Future Work

Continuing a consistently incremental trend on the use of multiple media to display software visualizations, the topic of the first session was AR, VR, and 3D. Besides our presentations about adopting the city visualization for augmented reality [1] and using the visualization framework Getaviz for visualizing design erosion and architecture quality [2], Martin Misiak from DLR presented IslandViz [3] with a stunning presentation which was held almost completely in immersive virtual reality.

Many presentations focused on the tools that have been developed. For example, [4] RepoVis that improves the exploration of software repositories through full-text search and visualising of the search results and [5] an open source stack to unify heterogenous software artifacts in a graph database as a foundation for software analysis and software visualization. In contrary, Eduardo Faccin Vernier presented a more theoretical paper about dynamic treemap algorithms. He presented the evaluation of 12 well-known algorithms for different use-cases in the context of software evolution visualization with respect to different quality metrics.

Martin Misiak presentign IslandViz in VR and giving informal demo session afterwards.

The second day began with a keynote as well. This time, Aaron Quigley spoke about immersion. He made clear, that immersion does not depend on 3D visualization or virtual reality, but that the “flow state” can be achieved in many ways and for many tasks.

The final sessions focused on quality & architecture and program understanding. Two papers, [6] and [7], focused on the visualization of a multitude of metrics for providing a visual overview over big software systems. Ivan Bacher presented two NIER papers, [8] and [9]. He presented an extended minimap visualization as used by many text editors by enriching it with more structural information and highlighting.

The Most Influential Paper (MIP) award was given to Steven Reiss for his paper “The Paradox of Software Visualization” [10] from 2005. The paper deals with the low usage of software visualization in industry although software visualization seems helpful and logical and many empirical evaluations show, how useful it is. In his lecture, which he gave remotely, Steve made clear, that the problems of software visualization from 2005 are unsolved and still apply 2018. Nevertheless he had to admit that software visualization have been adopted in some cases and that the situation might have been improved over the last decade.

One of the last events of the conference was the presentation of the best paper award. However, the program committee decided to not award a best paper, but instead two papers were given a distinguished paper award. First, the paper “Quantitative Comparison of Dynamic Treemaps for Software Evolution Visualization” [11] from Eduardo Faccin Vernier, Alexandru C. Telea and Joao Comba for their fundamental work on visualization techniques. Second, the paper “Overcoming Issues of 3D Software Visualization through Immersive Augmented Reality” [1] from Leonel Merino, Alexandre Bergel and Oscar Nierstrasz for their comprehensive and well conducted evaluation.

The winners of the distinguished paper award, Eduardo Faccin Vernier (left) and Leonel Merino (right), presented by Mircea Lungu and Andreas Kerren.

All in all, we had a great time at the conference attending the talks and meeting new people. The keynotes were definitely an enrichment for the conference and gave new impulses.

We both look forward to attend the next version of the conference Cleveland, USA. The conference website is already online, check it out:

David Baum & Leonel Merino

David Baum (@naraesk)
PhD student at Leipzig University
Research group “Visual Software Analytics”

Leonel Merino (PhD)
Visualization Research Center (VISUS)
University of Stuttgart


[1] “Overcoming Issues of 3D Software Visualization through Immersive Augmented Reality. Leonel Merino, Alexandre Bergel and Oscar Nierstrasz.
[2] “Visualising Design Erosion: How Big Balls of Mud are Made”. David Baum, Jens Dietrich, Craig Anslow and Richard Müller.
[3] “IslandViz: A Tool for Visualizing Modular Software Systems in Virtual Reality” Martin Misiak, Andreas Schreiber, Arnulph Fuhrmann, Sascha Zur, Doreen Seider and Lisa Nafeie
[4] “RepoVis: Visual Overview and Full-Text Search in Software Repositories”. Johannes Feiner and Keith Andrews.
[5] “Towards an Open Source Stack to Create a Unified Data Source for Software Analysis and Visualization”. Richard Müller, Dirk Mahler, Michael Hunger, Jens Nerche and Markus Harrer.
[6] “Detecting Bad Smells in Software Systems with Linked Multivariate Visualizations”.
Haris Mumtaz, Fabian Beck and Daniel Weiskopf.
[7] “Quality Models Inside Out: Interactive Visualization of Software Metrics by Means of Joint Probabilities”. Maria Ulan, Sebastian Hönel, Rafael Messias Martins, Morgan Ericsson, Welf Löwe, Anna Wingkvist and Andreas Kerren.
[8] “The Code Mini-Map Visualisation: Encoding Conceptual Structures Within Source Code”. Ivan Bacher, Brian Mac Namee and John D. Kelleher.
[9] “Scoped: Evaluating A Composite Visualisation Of The Scope Chain Hierarchy Within Source Code”. Ivan Bacher, Brian Mac Namee and John D. Kelleher.
[10] “The Paradox of Software Visualization”. Steven P. Reiss
[11] “Quantitative Comparison of Dynamic Treemaps for Software Evolution Visualization”. Eduardo Faccin Vernier, Alexandru C. Telea and Joao Comba.

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Workshop on Visual Analytics in Supercomputing and Performance Engineering

International Workshop on Visual Analytics in Supercomputing and Performance Engineering (VASPE ‘19)

Held in conjunction with ICPE ‘19: The 10th ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering

Both high performance computing (HPC) and performance engineering (PE) experts are facing the challenge of analyzing, comparing, visualizing, and reasoning about ever increasing volumes of performance-related data. While HPC typically deals with massively parallel simulation codes being executed on supercomputers, PE focuses on distributed, reliable software systems.

Due to the scale of performance-related data and the open-ended nature of analyzing it, visualization (VIS) and data analytics are often the only feasible tools to comprehend, debug, and improve the performance behavior of systems and/or codes. This is becoming ever more important, since the scale of performance-related data keeps rapidly growing. However the research communities in HPC, PE, and VIS are mostly disjunct.

VASPE ‘19 aims at gathering experts from (i) the HPC community, (ii) the PE community, and (iii) the VIS community in order to breed cross-community algorithms, techniques, and systems for analyzing and visualizing performance-related data.

Call for Papers
We solicit 6–8 page full papers and 2–4 page short papers that focus on techniques at the intersection of the three communities HPC, PE, and VIS that either use visualization techniques to display large scale performance data or that develop new visualization or visual analytics methods that help create new insights. We welcome submissions presenting novel and experimental ideas as well as tool descriptions.

Papers must be submitted as a PDF file in the ACM Standard proceedings format, and formatted for 8.5” x 11” (U.S. Letter). The 4-page and 8-page limits include figures, tables, and references.

Papers will be peer-reviewed by members of the program committee and accepted papers will be published by ACM as part of ICPE 2019 proceedings. Accepted papers will also be presented during the workshop as a paper talk (~20 min) or a lightning presentation (~10 min).

All papers must be submitted through EasyChair.

Important Dates
Submission deadline: Jan 7, 2019
Notification of acceptance: Feb 1, 2019
Camera-ready deadline: Feb 15, 2019
Workshop: TBD, one day between 6th and 12th April 2019

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HPC Visualisation Specialist – Australia

DST Group is seeking a HPC Visualisation Specialist at the S&T5 (Executive Level 1) grade — $100,946 to $113,886 pa — to be located at either Edinburgh (South Australia) or Fishermans Bend (Victoria).

Attached is the Position Description.

Applications will ONLY be accepted through Defence APS Careers website ( ).

I’m happy to field any questions you might have – my contact details are on the first page of the Position Description.


Heath James.

DST0393018-08-Nov-2018.Defence – Information Pack – DSTG

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VL/HCC 2018 Program

The  VL/HCC 2018 2018 program is available including 31 papers (plus lots of show pieces and posters) and three keynotes by Jason Hong, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, and Rodrigo Coutinho. It is going to be an exciting time in Lisbon, Portugal!

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VISSOFT 2018 Program

The VISSOFT 2018 program is available including 16 papers and two keynotes by Aaron Quigley and Helen Purchase. It is going to be an exciting time in Madrid!

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Frappe – Visualizing Code Dependency Graphs

Frappé: Querying and managing evolving code dependency graphs by David Meibusch, Nathan Hawes (Oracle Labs Australia)

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Visualization and Interaction for Ontologies and Linked Data (VOILA) 2018 Call for Papers

Visualization and Interaction for Ontologies and Linked Data (VOILA)
4th International Workshop co-located with ISWC 2018, October 8, 2018, Monterey, CA, USA

Motivation and Objectives

A picture is worth a thousand words, we often say, yet many areas are in demand of sophisticated visualization techniques, and the Semantic Web is not an exception. The size and complexity of ontologies and Linked Data in the Semantic Web constantly grows and the diverse backgrounds of the users and application areas multiply at the same time. Providing users with visual representations and intuitive interaction techniques can significantly aid the exploration and understanding of the domains and knowledge represented by ontologies and Linked Data.

Ontology visualization is not a new topic and a number of approaches have become available in recent years, with some being already well-established, particularly in the field of ontology modeling. In other areas of ontology engineering, such as ontology alignment and debugging, although several tools have been developed, few provide a graphical user interface, not to mention navigational aids or comprehensive visualization and interaction techniques.

In the presence of a huge network of interconnected resources, one of the challenges faced by the Linked Data community is the visualization of multidimensional datasets to provide for efficient overview, exploration and querying tasks, to mention just a few. With the focus shifting from a Web of Documents to a Web of Data, changes in the interaction paradigms are in demand as well. Novel approaches also need to take into consideration the technological challenges and opportunities given by new interaction contexts, ranging from mobile, touch, and gesture interaction to visualizations on large displays, and encompassing highly responsive web applications.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution but different use cases demand different visualization and interaction techniques. Ultimately, providing better user interfaces, visual representations and interaction techniques will foster user engagement and likely lead to higher quality results in different applications employing ontologies and proliferate the consumption of Linked Data.

Special Theme & Topics of Interest

This year, we plan to have a dedicated look on empirical evidence on the benefits and limitations of visualizations and interactions in the context of the Semantic Web. We are particularly interested in success and failure stories, in learning which visualization and interaction approaches work and which do not – to which extent and in which contexts. We would like to hear about novel research findings and insights, backed with empirical data from user studies and use cases. Submissions addressing this special theme could include one or more of the following:

  • success stories
  • failure stories
  • empirical studies

We also welcome other research contributions providing empirical evidence that advances the field.

Apart from that – and as in the last years -, we are looking for submissions addressing one or more of the following topics, subjects, and contexts (or related ones):


  • visualizations
  • user interfaces
  • visual analytics
  • requirements analysis
  • case studies
  • user evaluations
  • cognitive aspects


  • ontologies
  • linked data
  • ontology engineering (development, collaboration, ontology design patterns,
  • alignment, debugging, evolution, provenance, etc.)


  • classical interaction contexts (desktop, keyboard, mouse, etc.)
  • novel interaction contexts (mobile, touch, gesture, etc.)
  • special settings (large, high-resolution, and multiple displays, etc.)
  • specific user groups and needs (people with disabilities, domain experts, etc.)

Submission Guidelines

Paper submission and reviewing for this workshop will be electronic via EasyChair. The papers should be written in English, following the Springer LNCS format, and be submitted in either PDF or in HTML on or before June 1, 2018. Abstracts are due on on or before May 25, 2018. All deadlines are midnight Hawaii time.

For details on the PDF submission format, see Springer’s LNCS guidelines. For HTML submission guidance, see the HTML submission guide of ISWC 2018.

The following types of contributions are welcome. The recommended page length is given in brackets. There is no strict page limit but the length of a paper should be commensurate with its contribution.

  • Full research papers (8-12 pages);
  • Experience papers (8-12 pages);
  • Position papers (6-8 pages);
  • Short research papers (4-6 pages);
  • System papers (4-6 pages).

It is recommended to include a (persistent) URL to a working implementation or an (annotated) screencast for submissions presenting interactive visualizations, user interfaces, tools, etc.

Accepted papers will be published as a volume in the CEUR Workshop Proceedings series. See CEUR-WS volume 1947 for the proceedings of last year’s VOILA workshop.

Note that for the second time this year ISWC offers a registration *only* for the workshops and tutorials days. For details please visit the ISWC registration page.

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