Technical Report Number
The non-determinism, complexity, and size of distributed software systems present significant difficulties for designers and maintainers. Visualization can help alleviate these difficulties through interactive exploratory tools that allow both novice and experienced users to investigate a distributed computation using a common tool set. Essential to the success of a visual exploration tool is the ability to provide accurate representations of global states. This paper is concerned with the use of snapshots in support of interactive visual exploration of distributed computations. The nature of the visualization process requires snapshots that (1) are consecutive, thus facilitating smooth animation of state changes, (2) vary in content and scope in response to changes in the viewer's interest, and (3) can be generated on demand with minal impact on long-lived computations that may be monitored only occasionally. The paper describes a monitoring approach that satisfies these requirements and several algorithmic variations. A distributed ray tracer serves as an example.
Hart, Delbert; Kraemer, Eileen; and Roman, Gruia-Catalin, "Using Snapshot Streams to Support Visual Exploration" Report Number: WUCS-97-46 (1997). All Computer Science and Engineering Research.