Visualizing Call Graphs

Struggling to navigate and explore code control flow? Then perhaps use REACHER an Eclipse IDE plugin tool developed by Thomas La Toza to visualize call graphs. A paper entitled Visualizing Call Graphs by Thomas La Toza was presented at VLHCC 2011 which demonstrated that REACHER helps developers explore code more easily and effectively. The participants in the study were 5 times more successful at finding the answers to the tasks and completed the tasks in significantly less time when using REACHER compared with the standard Eclipse IDE.

REACHER’S most significant benefit is search, which helped developers more quickly locate far-away methods and statements connected by long and confusing paths. But REACHER also helps support the subsequent work of understanding and reasoning about the path. Participants traced call graph paths to identify properties of paths. Participants ultimately wanted to see the code behind these paths, and used REACHER to quickly jump between methods on the paths.

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About Craig Anslow

Craig Anslow is a software visualization researcher understanding multi-touch table user interfaces with respect to software visualization.
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