From CS294-10 Visualization Sp11

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Group Members

  • Jessica Voytek
  • Julian Limon Nunez


Visualizing "Traceability" in Student Projects

In the School of Information course Information Systems and Service Design (ISSD) one key concept students must master is “traceability,” however, the concept of traceability in this context is more general than that used in “traceability matrices.” Traceability in ISSD is the way in which a student group identifies and keeps track of the relationships between important observations from stakeholder analysis through the features identified in other design activities. It is a tool for making more objective decisions about system and service design without generating complex requirements documents.

Some of our group members are currently working on a website for managing several aspects of student projects in general, and ISSD specifically. In previous years keeping track of traceability was conducted manually and ad hoc. In addition to course management and project management features, this system is also intended to track traceability through various design activities and artifacts, however we have yet to develop a suitable visualization for plotting traceability over the life of the project.

Some visualizations for requirements have been developed both in business settings ( http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/07/0605_hovater/ ) and in academia ( http://www.springerlink.com/index/3076m5105l25773p.pdf ). However, they are based on cryptic requirement codes, do not reflect the changing nature of requirements, and are not associated with the specific source of the requirement (a quote in an interview transcription or an observation, or a technical constraint specified in an Service Level Agreement). These cryptic codes are not associated with the specific text from which the requirement was generated.

Our proposal is to develop a visualization that identifies key observations, the recommendations or features resulting from those observations, the modifications those recommendations go through over time, and the way they are implemented in the final product.

Initial problem presentation

Link to slides: File:Traceability.pdf

Midpoint Design Discussion

Link to slides here

Final Deliverables

Link to source code and executable Link to final paper in pdf form Link to final slides or poster

Dan - Apr 06, 2011 04:05:56 pm

Visualizing non-functional traces is a very complex and interesting subject. It was hard to grasp a good story, however. I think it would be nice to create an interesting story in the beginning to get people immersed in what a trace is, and how what you are going to do can help with visualizing a trace.

Siamak Faridani - Apr 06, 2011 04:17:14 pm

The visualization reminded me of GitHub commit visualizations :) Alas I am not very familiar with the concept of traceability but it looks very interesting. You have done a great job on doing literature survey and related work.

David Wong - Apr 06, 2011 05:01:27 pm

An interesting way of visualizing traces could be through DAGs. You could make the requirement one node and the realization of that in the design another node. Depending on how you want the visualization to work, the directed edge could be from the design element to the requirements or vice versa. Having it from design decision to requirement can allow you to trace back design decisions to the underlying requirements and visualize dependencies in design decisions. Having it the other way can allow you visualize trees on how the final design decisions were created.

Matthew Can - Apr 06, 2011 05:53:44 pm

I'm interested in what kind of metadata you're collecting on the traces and if/how you intend to visualize that. An example might be the strength of a trace based on how much consensus there is for each design decision made along the trace. There might be an opportunity to create novel traceability visualizations that include such additional data.

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