3D Visualization for Model Comprehension A Case Study Conducted at Ericsson AB
With growing size and complexity of models, model comprehensibility has become a problem in model driven development. Common experiences are information overload in diagrams and difficulties in understanding model hierarchies, both leading to users spending too much time on comprehending models. The paper presents a case study at a department at Ericsson AB, experiencing this problem. The case study investigates the problem through iterative interviewing and incremental prototyping of mixed fidelity prototypes of a 3D model visualizer. Prototypes include structure diagrams, sequence diagrams and state machines — all recurrent in model driven development tools. Findings show that comprehensibility is improved by visualizing model hierarchies in 3D, by providing filtering for diagrams, by expand/ collapse operations on the model’s structure, and by utilizing the 3D space for visualizing components as 3D boxes and pipes. Feedback received from informants show that moving from a 2D perspective to a 3D perspective has substantial impact on model comprehension.