VL/HCC 2018 Call for Papers

IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC 2018)

1-4 October, 2018 – Lisbon, Portugal



– Abstract Submission: 6 April 2018
– Paper Submission: 13 April 2018
– Review Notifications: 15 June 2018
– Rebuttal Deadline: 22 June 2018
– Paper Notification: 6 July 2018
– Camera Ready copy: 27 July 2018
– Conference: 1–4 October 2018


We solicit original, unpublished research papers on computing technologies and visual languages for modelling, programming, communicating, and reasoning, which are easier to learn, use or understand by humans than the current state-of-the-art. Papers should focus on efforts to design, formalize, implement, or evaluate those technologies and languages. This includes tools and visual languages intended for general audiences (e.g. professional or novice programmers, or the public) or domain-specific audiences (e.g. people working in business administration, production environments, healthcare, urban design or scientific domains).

This year’s special topic is “Building Human-Adaptive Socio-Technical Systems”. Systems in which humans are both developers of and intrinsic parts of the system are becoming more common. These Human-Adaptive Socio-Technical Systems adapt to changes in context and the behavior of human users. Example systems include situation-aware human-assistance systems and learning-based cooperative control systems in a variety of application areas including Internet-of-Things applications and Cyber-physical social systems. These kinds of systems require human-centered concepts, languages and methods in two separate contexts: to specify system behavior and to assist in modeling human behavior.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

– Novel visual languages
– Design, evaluation, and theory of visual languages
– End-user development, adaptation, and programming
– Domain-specific languages
– Visual modeling of socio-technical systems
– Visual modeling of human behavior
– Visual modeling of digital twins of humans
– Interdisciplinary approaches (e.g. psychology, sociology) to human aspects
– Human aspects and psychology of software development and language design
– New representations and user interfaces for explaining system’s behavior
– Computational thinking and computer science education
– Problem solving through programming and play
– Debugging and program understanding
– Crowd Sourcing design and development work
– Software visualization
– Technologies and infrastructures for end user development
– Technology acceptance and adoption studies
– Evaluation of end user development technologies


We invite two kinds of papers:

– full-length research papers, up to 8 pages – plus unlimited additional pages containing only references

– short research papers, up to 4 pages – plus unlimited additional pages containing only references

Supplemental Materials: In addition to papers, authors may optionally submit supplemental materials that support their papers. Examples of supplemental materials include short digital videos, copies of study instruments, or experimental methodologies. Supplementary material should be briefly described in the paper body. However, since not everyone who reviews your paper may review submitted supplemental materials, your submission must stand on its own without the supplemental materials. The supplemental materials will be distributed at the conference and will appear in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library. Videos must be at most 3 minutes in length, at most 100 MB in size, and prepared as MP4 files using the H.264 codec. All supplemental materials must adhere to the IEEE preparation instructions: https://www.ieee.org/documents/MMdocumentation.pdf.

Papers and supplemental materials must be submitted using the EasyChair system:


* Please note that we will follow a double-blind reviewing mechanism for 2018. *

To facilitate assigning papers to reviewers, we require paper abstracts to be submitted via EasyChair at least one week before the paper submission deadline. The abstract must be no longer than 150 words and must be kept up-to-date such that it exactly matches the abstract in the submitted paper.

All accepted papers, whether full or short, should be complete, self-contained, archival contributions. Contributions from full papers are more extensive than those from short papers. Work-in-progress, which has not yet yielded a contribution, should be submitted to the Showpieces category. All submissions will be reviewed by members of the Program Committee. Submission and reviews for the technical program are managed with EasyChair. At least one author of each accepted paper is required to register for VL/HCC 2018 and present the paper at the conference. IEEE reserves the right to exclude a paper from distribution after the conference, including IEEEXplore® Digital Library, if the paper is not presented by the author at the conference.

Accepted papers will be distributed at the conference and will be included in the IEEE Xplore Digital Library (http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/). The proceedings are an official electronic publication of the IEEE in Computer Science, with an ISBN number. Be sure to use the current IEEE conference paper format: http://www.ieee.org/conferences_events/conferences/publishing/templates.html.


We follow a light-weight double-blind reviewing process. Thus, submitted papers must not reveal the identities of authors. However, the author names will be known to the program committee in the rebuttal phase.

Both authors and reviewers are expected to make every effort to honor the double-blind reviewing process. In case of questions, please contact the Program Chairs.

Authors should ensure that the submission can be evaluated without it being obvious who wrote the paper. This means leaving author names off the paper and using terms like “previous research” rather than “our previous research” when describing background. However, do not hide previous work – papers must still reference all relevant research, including that by the current authors, so reviewers can evaluate novelty. It is important that authors specify all conflicts of interest with potential reviewers during the submission phase.

Reviewers should not undertake any investigation that might lead to the revealing of authors identity. If identities are inadvertently revealed, please contact the Program Chairs.

The Program Chairs will check all submissions for obvious signs of lack of anonymity and may ask authors to make changes and resubmit the paper within four days of the submission deadline.


Papers are expected to support their claims with appropriate evidence. For example, a paper that claims to improve programmer productivity is expected to demonstrate improved productivity; a paper that claims to be easier to use should demonstrate increased ease of use. However, not all claims necessarily need to be supported with empirical evidence or studies with people. For example, a paper that claims to make something feasible that was clearly infeasible might substantiate its claim through the existence of a functioning prototype. Moreover, there are many alternatives to empirical evidence that may be appropriate for justifying claims, including analytical methods, formal arguments or case studies. Given this criterion,we encourage potential authors to think carefully about what claims their submission makes and what evidence would adequately support these claims. In addition, we expect short papers to have less comprehensive evaluation than long papers.


Papers will be reviewed as follows:

– Initial review period: at least three members of the Program Committee or external reviewers will review each paper. At the end of this period, these initial reviews will be released to the authors.

– Author response period: authors will have an opportunity to submit a response based on their initial reviews. Responses should focus on answering reviewers’ questions, addressing reviewers’ concerns, and clarifying any factual misunderstandings. At this point, the identity of authors will be revealed to the program committee.

– Final review period: taking the author response into account, the original reviewers will revise their reviews as they deem appropriate, and the Program Committee will reach a final decision to accept or reject the submitted work.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

VL/HCC 2017 Summary

Guest post by Denae Ford, PhD student at NC State University.

This year’s IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC) was hosted in the beautiful City of Oaks—Raleigh, North Carolina. This was only my 2nd VL/HCC, but from what I could tell the atmosphere was still filled with familiar faces with innovative approaches and exciting results to share!

The conference was hosted in the Marbles Kids Museum which appropriately matched the Programming and Play special topic from the call for papers (CFP). This year’s conference was also co-located with 2nd Blocks and Beyond Workshop which brought many researchers interested in the K-12 learning gains from block-based interfaces. I really think this was a new twist from last year’s VL/HCC co-location with PPIG in Cambridge, UK.

I think the best representation of all the refreshing intersection was at the reception on Wednesday night at the Nature Research Center. The evening consisted of graduate consortium posters, showpieces, and demonstrations around the exhibits ocean excursions, microorganisms, and unraveled DNA. One very cool demo was by Alessio Malizia where he demoed a tool named TAPASPlay which used shapes as input and output of an algorithm to teach computational thinking.

Nature Research Center.

During the days, there were many amazing talks were given, but I’ll just highlight a few here:

Mary Beth Kery, a doctoral candidate at Carnegie Mellon University, presented the high value of exploratory programming from prior literature but also what it could mean for data scientist and other types of programmers learning through play(trial and error).

Titus Barik
, researcher at Microsoft Research, presented nostalgic concepts of play that got many of us into programming and reflected on how those concepts are reflected in how we program today.


I, Denae Ford, also presented our work on peer parity and presented how we can use identity to help programmers re-engage in online Q&A communities. I’ve shared my slides, paper, and blog online!

Chris Crawford, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama, presented the very meta experience of programming using alpha and beta waves of EEG into block programming environments.

Betsy DiSalvo, was or final keynote of the day and discussed how we use metaphors to understand concepts in CS, see Value-driven Learning: Decoding and Building upon Playful Computing Education. However, she shined light on the fact that those concepts are only specific to culture are difficult to expand beyond the context of a single lens of white men. This becomes an issue when programmers from different cultures try to enter the field. She challenged us to examine our language, what we consider playful, what our audience values, and to self-reflect on our expert blind spots.

Betsy DiSalvo.

I also attended the graduate consortium, chaired by Eric Walkingshaw where it was a very welcoming atmosphere for feedback. Faculty panelists also include Marian Petre, Katie Stolee, and Scott Fleming.

I must say it was one of the most constructive doctoral consortiums I have ever attended. The feedback was practical, healthy difference in approaches, large projects were scoped, and the students were very engaged.

For more updates on the happenings of the conference you can check out the hashtag #VLHCC17. We hope to see you in Lisbon, Portugal for VL/HCC 2018!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

VISSOFT 2017 Summary

I (Leonel Merino) was happy to attend the VISSOFT conference in Shanghai from 18-19 September 2017. This year there were nine full technical papers, six tool demo (TD) papers, and four new ideas and emerging results (NIER) papers.

There were two keynotes during the conference. The first by Stephen Reiss entitled “Visualization in Code Bubbles: A Perspective and Look Ahead” presented his contributions to the software visualization domain over the last two decades. Amongst others, he described his work with Code Bubbles —a visual programming interface, in which pieces of code are encapsulated in bubbles that can be linked, and reused across the application to compose various functionalities. He spiced-up his presentation with provocative statements such as that software visualization is a failure since most IDEs are mostly text-based, but he also explained that visualization is constantly used in IDEs in the form of navigation widgets, word-sized charts and graphs. The take home message of his presentation was 1) visualization should focus on displaying the data, 2) users do not have time to find insights, they need quick answers, and 3) simpler visualization techniques work better. The second day Shixia Liu presented “Interactive Model Analysis”, in which she uses visual analytics for supporting interactive machine learning. She elaborated on her work for enabling human users to understand and diagnose machine learning models.

Steve Reiss, keynote, Visualization in Code Bubbles: A Perspective and Look Ahead.

During the conference, there were presented several interesting papers. To name a few, “iTraceVis” [1] that describes visualization of analyze source code reading based on eye tracking technology. A tool demo paper [2] that proposed a chat-based interface for the interactive visualization of software artifacts. The “Method Execution Reports” full paper [3] for automating the documentation of method execution. And, the “SoL Mantra” tool demo paper [4] that proposed a solar metaphor for identifying libraries update opportunities.


Besides our paper [5] that focuses on the evaluation of the impact of the medium in the effectiveness of 3D software visualization, there were several others papers that focused in 3D visualization techniques. One [6] that presented an animated 3D software city for analyzing real-time performance. One tool demonstration [7] that used an Oculus Rift device for displaying the visualization of the components of OSGi-based applications. One full paper that presented the Code Park tool [8], which uses virtual reality displayed in a computer screen for source code reading. And the Getaviz tool demo paper [9] that described support for automating some laborious tasks when conducting empirical evaluations of software visualizations.

2017-09-18 21.28.18Medium in the effectiveness of 3D software visualization, Leonel Merino.

The best paper award was given to “Visual Exploration of Memory Traces and Call Stacks” [10]. The paper describes visualization of memory traces and call stacks using scatter and icicle plots based on data and control flow structures for memory profiling.

2017-09-19 11.13.44
Best paper, Visual Exploration of Memory Traces and Call Stacks.

The Most Influential Paper (MIP) award was given to “A task oriented view of software visualization” [11]. The award was received by Jonathan Maletic and Andrian Marcus who presented the storey of the paper using slightly similar slides than used when presenting the paper fifteen years ago. The motivation of the paper resulted from discussions in a previous workshop, in which they observed a need of a more concise taxonomy to classify software visualizations. Although along the years their research interests are not in software visualization anymore, they reflected on the little adoption of software visualization tools by practitioners and conjecture whether the main barrier for adoption is the disconnect between the problem domains on which visualization have focused and the domains that get the most attention from practitioners. They closed their presentation with a call-to-action for researchers in the software visualization domain to look for uses cases in software development for which software visualization can demonstrate its unique usefulness.

2017-09-19 16.32.49
Most influential paper, A task oriented view of software visualization.

The conference ended with an open steering committee election, in which were elected three new members: Bonita Sharif, Andrea Mocci, and Ivan Beschastnikh.

Steering Committee elections.

Demoing CityVR

All in all, I had a great time attending the talks, meeting new people and demoing CityVR [12] during the demo session (though I formally presented the tool in the ICSME conference a few days after VISSOFT). I liked the fact that VISSOFT is a rather small conference that facilitates to engage in interesting discussions. I look forward to attend the next version of the conference in Madrid!

2017-09-19 13.44.48.jpg

2017-09-19 13.50.48

2017-09-19 14.16.22

2017-09-19 15.03.14

Leonel Merino
PhD student
Software Composition Group
University of Bern


[1] “iTraceVis: Visualizing Eye Movement Data Within Eclipse”. Benjamin Clark and Bonita Sharif
[2] “A Conversational User Interface for Software Visualization”. Stefan Bieliauskas and Andreas Schreiber.
[3] “Method Execution Reports: Generating Text and Visualization to Describe Program Behavior”. Fabian Beck, Hafiz Ammar Siddiqui, Alexandre Bergel and Daniel Weiskopf
[4] “SoL Mantra: Visualizing Update Opportunities Based on Library Coexistence”. Boris Todorov, Raula Gaikovina Kula, Takashi Ishio and Katsuro Inoue
[5] “On the Impact of the Medium in the Effectiveness of 3D Software Visualizations”. Leonel Merino, Johannes Fuchs, Michael Hund, Craig Anslow, Mohammad Ghafari, Oscar Nierstrasz, Michael Behrisch and Daniel Keim
[6] “Using High-Rising Cities to Visualize Performance in Real-Time”. Katsuya Ogami, Raula Gaikovina Kula, Hideaki Hata, Takashi Ishio and Kenichi Matsumoto
[7] “Interactive Visualization of Software Components with Virtual Reality Headsets”. Andreas Schreiber and Marlene Brüggemann.
[8] “Code Park: A New 3D Code Visualization Tool”. Pooya Khaloo, Mehran Maghoumi, Eugene Taranta II, David Bettner and Joseph Laviola Jr.
[9] “Getaviz: Generating Structural, Behavioral, and Evolutionary Views of Software Systems for Empirical Evaluation”. David Baum, Jan Schilbach, Pascal Kovacs, Ulrich Eisenecker and Richard Müller.
[10] “Visual Exploration of Memory Traces and Call Stacks”. Patrick Gralka, Christoph Schulz, Guido Reina, Daniel Weiskopf and Thomas Ertl
[11] “A task oriented view of software visualization”, J. I. Maletic, A. Marcus and M. L. Collard, 2002
[12] “CityVR: Gameful Software Visualization”. Leonel Merino, Mohammad Ghafari, Craig Anslow, Oscar Nierstrasz

Posted in Conferences | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

VISSOFT 2017 – Program

VISSOFT 2017 will take place on September 18-19, 2017 in Shanghai, China. The program has now been released.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Computer Graphics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Computer Graphics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Come and join a collaborative and growing team in computer graphics teaching & research led by Professor Neil Dodgson, and combine your passion for knowledge with a life in one of the world’s most desirable countries to live in. The appointment will be at the level of Lecturer or Senior Lecturer (equivalent to a US Assistant Professor or Associate Professor) and will be for a fixed term of four years. All areas of computer graphics and visualization are of interest, but applications are particularly welcome from people with interests in realtime 3D computer graphics.

This is a rare opportunity to develop your academic career in a collegial and collaborative environment at the heart of New Zealand’s nexus of industry, research and government sectors. Wellington’s landscape and lifestyle, along with Victoria University’s standing as the top research institute in New Zealand and in the top 2% worldwide, means that this position is an outstanding combination of academic opportunity and work/life balance. The Faculty’s strategic direction and commitment to collaborative, inter-disciplinary and globally impactful academic work will mean that early-career and mid-career academics will be able to enhance both their research and teaching portfolios. We are committed to combining research excellence with innovative and motivating teaching, maintain strong local connections with world-class companies such as Weta Digital, and we are also developing a new Institute for Computational Media, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

For more information on this position please contact Professor Neil Dodgson, School of Engineering and Computer Science at: neil.dodgson@vuw.ac.nz.

Applications must be submitted online at http://www.victoria.ac.nz/about/careers

Application reference number 1723
Applications close 2 October 2017

Victoria University of Wellington – Computer Graphics

Weta Digital

Wellington ranked as the #1 city in the for world for having the highest quality of life – according to Deutsche Bank, 2017

Posted in Positions | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Visualize your software via 3D cities in Virtual Reality: CityVR, work done by Leonel Merino.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Visualize Sorting Algorithms

Here are some examples of visualizing sorting algorithms:

Visualization and Comparison of Sorting Algorithms –

Visualization of 24 Sorting Algorithms In 2 Minutes –

15 Sorting Algorithms in 6 Minutes –

Sorting Algorithms (Bubble Sort, Shell Sort, Quicksort) –

Reversed 15 Sorting Algorithms in 6 Minutes –

Sorting Algorithms: Quicksort, Heapsort, Shellsort, Bubblesort, Shaker/Cocktail, Selection, Linear –

Posted in Algorithm Animation, Visualization Techniques | Leave a comment