Skip to Main Content
Software is among the most complex human artifacts, and visualization is widely acknowledged as important to understanding software. In this paper, we consider the problem of understanding a software system's architecture through visualization. Whereas traditional visualizations use multiple stakeholder-specific views to present different kinds of task- specific information, we propose an additional visualization technique that unifies the presentation of various kinds of architecture-level information, thereby allowing a variety of stakeholders to quickly see and communicate current development, quality, and costs of a software system. For future empirical evaluation of multi-aspect, single-view architectural visualizations, we have implemented our idea in an existing visualization tool, Vizz3D. Our implementation includes techniques, such as the use of a city metaphor, that reduce visual complexity in order to support single-view visualizations of large-scale programs.