UDC 004.4'426

Constructing program animations using a pattern-based approach

Daniela da Cruz1, Pedro Rangel Henriques1 and Maria Joao Varanda Pereira2

  1. University of Minho - Department of Computer Science
    Campus de Gualtar, 4715-057, Braga, Portugal
  2. Polytechnic Institute of Braganca
    Campus de Sta. Apolonia, Apartado 134 - 5301-857, Braganca, Portugal


The aim of this paper is to discuss how our pattern-based strategy for the visualization of data and control flow can effectively be used to animate the program and exhibit its behavior. That result allows us to propose its use for Program Comprehension. The animator uses well known compiler techniques to inspect the source code in order to extract the necessary information to visualize it and understand program execution. We convert the source program into an internal decorated (or attributed) abstract syntax tree and then we visualize the structure by traversing it, and applying visualization rules at each node according to a pre-defined rule-base. In order to calculate the next step in the program execution, a set of rewriting rules are applied to the tree. The visualization of this new tree is shown and the program animation is constructed using an iterative process. No changes are made in the source code, and the execution is simulated step by step. Several examples of visualization are shown to illustrate the approach and support our idea of applying it in the context of a Program Comprehension environment.

Publication information

Volume 4, Issue 2 (December 2007)
Advances in Programming Languages
Year of Publication: 2007
ISSN: 1820-0214 (Print) 2406-1018 (Online)
Publisher: ComSIS Consortium

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How to cite

Cruz, D. d., Henriques, P. R., Pereira, M. J. V.: Constructing program animations using a pattern-based approach. Computer Science and Information Systems, Vol. 4, No. 2, 99-116. (2007)