The Visualization of Software Quality Metrics - A Systematic Literature Review
Researchers and practitioners have put a lot of attention in the visualization of software quality metrics. However, there is little attempt to systematically review and classify the different approaches of the quality metrics. Our objective in this study is to conduct a systematic literature review to identify the types and purposes for visualizing software quality metrics, including an analysis of existing visual attributes, interaction mechanisms and the different types of evaluations that are performed on the visualizations. We use a thematic analysis on 18 studies that met our inclusion criteria and found out that graph-based visualization is the most commonly used to visualize quality metrics such as lines of code, McCabe’s complexity and the number of methods. These metrics are mapped to the visual aspect of dimension, such as length, width, height and depth of the visual data, for instance, 3D boxes. In addition, we found out that the main purpose of employing visualization techniques is to improve the understanding of the structural characteristics of a software entity.