Consistent Layout for Thematic Software Maps

Kuhn, Adrian; Loretan, Peter; Nierstrasz, Oscar (2008). Consistent Layout for Thematic Software Maps. In: 15th Working Conference on Reverse Engineering, 2008, WCRE 2008, 15-18 October 2008, Antwerp (pp. 209-218). Washington, DC: IEEE Computer Society 10.1109/WCRE.2008.45

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Software visualizations can provide a concise overview of a complex software system. Unfortunately, since software has no physical shape, there is no “natural“ mapping of software to a two-dimensional space. As a consequence most visualizations tend to use a layout in which position and distance have no meaning, and consequently layout typical diverges from one visualization to another. We propose a consistent layout for software maps in which the position of a software artifact reflects its \emph{vocabulary}, and distance corresponds to similarity of vocabulary. We use Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) to map software artifacts to a vector space, and then use Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) to map this vector space down to two dimensions. The resulting consistent layout allows us to develop a variety of thematic software maps that express very different aspects of software while making it easy to compare them. The approach is especially suitable for comparing views of evolving software, since the vocabulary of software artifacts tends to be stable over time.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Computer Science (INF)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Computer Science (INF) > Software Composition Group (SCG)

UniBE Contributor:

Kuhn, Adrian and Nierstrasz, Oscar Marius


IEEE Computer Society




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:22

Last Modified:

04 Nov 2019 06:56

Publisher DOI:




URI: (FactScience: 207068)

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