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Fisheye Visualization for Complex Software Solution Navigation Disclosure Number: IPCOM000028700D
Original Publication Date: 2004-May-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-May-27
Document File: 5 page(s) / 227K

Publishing Venue



As software solution become more complex it is becoming increasingly important for solution developers and architects to be able to visualize the entire solution. However, the solutions are sophisticated enough that they are too complex to visualize and even more difficult to navigate around. This article describes the application of a fisheye viewer to make it easier to navigate around as well as drill down into more complex parts of the solution.

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Fisheye Visualization for Complex Software Solution Navigation

This article describes how an editor can be provided that allows the users to display the amount of detail they are interested in while working on a solution. It also allows them to drill down into parts of the solution in which they want to see more detail. Figure 1 shows a simple solution with many different components.


Figure 1. Simple solution.

This view is fine for a simple solution but as the solution gets more complicated then the graph becomes very complicated. In addition there are typically subgraphs which are interesting to be viewed at certain times while hidden at others and at times just the complexity of the subgraph is important. Figures 2-8 show the possible navigation through the solution showing nodes in opaque mode and transparent mode as well as what would be seen through drilldown.

check inventory

create PO

insufficient supply

updated PO

PO processed

Purchase order with state change handling

Get approval for PO amount

create PO

update PO

Define conversation between buyer and supplier to purchase widgets

check inventory and create PO

update PO

Widget production system


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Figure 2. Public process

Figure 3. Public process with nodes expanded to show nested flows


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Figure 4. Drilldown into the check and create PO flow. Purchase Order node is opaque.

Figure 5. Purchase Order node in transparent mode s...