VIFID/TRIFID

Tools for Constraint Visualisation: The VIFID/TRIFID Tool. Visualisation of program executions has been used in applications which include education and debugging. However, traditional visualisation techniques often fall short of expectations or are altogether inadequate for new programming paradigms, such as Constraint Logic Programming (CLP), whose declarative and operational semantics differ in some crucial ways from those of other paradigms. In particular, traditional ideas regarding the behaviour of data often cannot be lifted in a straightforward way to (C)LP from other families of programming languages. In this chapter we discuss techniques for visualising data evolution in CLP. We briefly review some previously proposed visualisation paradigms, and also propose a number of (to our knowledge) novel ones. The graphical representations have been chosen based on the perceived needs of a programmer trying to analyse the behaviour and characteristics of an execution. In particular, we concentrate on the representation of the run-time values of the variables, and the constraints among them. Given our interest in visualising large executions, we also pay attention to abstraction techniques, i.e., techniques which are intended to help in reducing the complexity of the visual information.

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