Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Inform. Michael Burch
Email: michael.burch@visus.uni-stuttgart.de

VISUS - Institut für Visualisierung und Interaktive Systeme - Stuttgart


Visualizing the Evolution of Module Workflows

Paper pdf-Version
A workflow visualization.

A workflow visualization.


Module workflows are used to generate custom applications with modular software frameworks. They describe data flow between the modular components and their execution under certain parameter configurations. In many cases, module workflows are modeled in a graphical way by the user. To come up with the final result or to explore multiple solutions, they often undergo many iterations of adaptation. Furthermore, existing workflows may be reused for new applications. We visualize the evolution of module workflows with a focus-and-context approach and visualization techniques for time-dependent data. Our approach provides insight into user behavior and the characteristics of the underlying systems. As our examples show, this can help identify usability issues and indicate options to improve the effectiveness of the system. We demonstrate our approach for module workflows in VisTrails, a modular visualization system that allows building custom visualizations by combining different modules for processing and visualizing data.

Future Work

Our daily lives consist of workflows which might be structured into subworkflows. A hierarchical time-oriented visualization for these subworkflows might be important to directly understand the subroutines. In this context, it might be interesting to see the evolution of workflows, i.e., the evolution of daily workflow patterns for each human being.