Early Bird Pick


Visualization of OSGi Based Software Architectures in Virtual Reality

DLR team working on conceptual designs. Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)

This talk was submitted by Lisa Nafeie, Tech Student at Tech Student at German Aerospace Center (DLR), Department Intelligent and Distributed Systems, Germany and we had the opportunity to ask Nafeie a few questions about her talk.

Alliance: Using Virtual Reality to visualize OSGi software architectures sounds really cool. How long have you been doing this and how did you come up with the idea?
Nafeie: At DLR, we have been working on software visualization since a couple of years. Our goal is to support maintenance of large software systems and to help new team members to become familiar with the software. We started by visualizing OSGi based software architecture in 2D, which we still do today. Based on that we wanted to explore the possibilities of a 3D visualization and decided to try that in Virtual Reality.  As time went by, we experimented with different visual metaphors and different technologies, such as Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, etc.

Alliance: Can you tell us a bit more about the IslandViz software you use and is this something you have developed?
Nafeie: We developed IslandViz in cooperation with the Institute of Media and Imaging Technology at TH Köln. The first version uses data sets in JSON that we extract from OSGi based software projects by Repository Mining techniques. It visualizes the “Software Islands” using the HTC Vive VR headset. I work on replacing the data mining by using the existing tool JQAssistant and the graph database Neo4j.

IslandViz is Open Source Software under the Apache 2.0 License and available on GitHub: https://github.com/DLR-SC/island-viz

Alliance: What are the key benefits that developers obtain from adopting your Virtual Reality approach?
Nafeie: The key benefit is to get an idea how OSGi based software systems are structured in order to understand overall software architecture. It allows users to communicate technical problems more effectively by adopting Virtual Reality and focus on the high-level abstract visualization.

Alliance:  Who should attend your talk? Any specific skill levels or experience?
Nafeie: Developers of all skill levels are welcome and a basic understanding of OSGi will be helpful.

Alliance: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Nafeie: My talk will focus on visualizing the current version of OSGi based software systems where the data is stored in a graph database and I’m excited to hear if attendees see use cases in their own projects and if they have inspiring ideas for our future work.

The abstract for the early bird talk can be found here.

Lisa Nafeie

Lisa Nafeie is a student of Computer Science and Engineering at TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences). She works as a student assistant at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in the Department for Intelligent and Distributed Systems. Her research fields include software systems and software visualization. Lisa started to work in the software visualization team in spring 2018. Before that she worked in the distributed software systems team at DLR, and helped to develop the distributed integration system RCE, which is based on OSGi.