Publications of the research group since 2016. For earlier publications, please visit Fabian Beck's Google Scholar or DBLP profile.

Exploranative Code Quality Documents

Type of Publication: Article in Journal

Exploranative Code Quality Documents

Mumtaz, Haris; Latif, Shahid; Beck, Fabian; Weiskopf, Daniel
Title of Journal:
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Volume (Publication Date):
26 (2020)
Number of Issue:
Code quality, interactive documents, natural language generation, sparklines
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2019.2934669
Exploranative Code Quality Documents (2.22 MB)
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Good code quality is a prerequisite for efficiently developing maintainable software. In this paper, we present a novel approach to generate exploranative (explanatory and exploratory) data-driven documents that report code quality in an interactive, exploratory environment. We employ a template-based natural language generation method to create textual explanations about the code quality, dependent on data from software metrics. The interactive document is enriched by different kinds of visualization, including parallel coordinates plots and scatterplots for data exploration and graphics embedded into text. We devise an interaction model that allows users to explore code quality with consistent linking between text and visualizations; through integrated explanatory text, users are taught background knowledge about code quality aspects. Our approach to interactive documents was developed in a design study process that included software engineering and visual analytics experts. Although the solution is specific to the software engineering scenario, we discuss how the concept could generalize to multivariate data and report lessons learned in a broader scope.