Interactive visual debugging with UML*


Authors use a modified version of ArgoUML to debug java programs. They introduce new layouts for displaying class-relationship diagrams for running programs.


  • Look up Roman and Cox, and Price, Baecker, and Small for taxonomies of visualization.
  • Contains a lot of important references
  • Uses ArgoUML and the Java Debug Architecture to visualize program state during execution.
  • "we contend that the application of UML during debugging and testing activities will improve developer effectiveness"… check to see if this has been tested! Look for references to this paper!
  • Visualizes objects and relationships during execution
  • modifies ArgoUML to use fisheye and degree-of-interest layouts.
  • UML is modified to allow for level of detail for class representations. Level of detail ranges from full class diagram (with class names, methods, attributes, and types) down to not showing the class at all.
  • Level of detail is based on a degree of interest function:
\begin{align} DOI \approx log_2(freq) + (mvd - dist) \end{align}

where freq is the frequency that the class is accessed in the running program, mvd is the maximum visible degree of interest and dist is the graphical distance from the focal point in the view.

  • Has the good idea of using the end-point symbols for links in UML (arrows and diamonds) to support "expansion" for increasing the level of detail.
  • Attempts to validate the process by comparing the number of classes that can be visualized using their system vs. the default ArgoUML, and source code browsing. These give objective results, but don't indicate how well users actually like the process.

BibTeX Reference

author = {Jacobs,, Timothy and Musial,, Benjamin},
title = {Interactive visual debugging with UML},
booktitle = {SoftVis '03: Proceedings of the 2003 ACM symposium on Software visualization},
year = {2003},
isbn = {1-58113-642-0},
pages = {115—122},
location = {San Diego, California},
doi = {},
publisher = {ACM},
address = {New York, NY, USA},

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