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Visualization in algorithm engineering: Tools and techniques. (English) Zbl 1026.68768

Fleischer, Rudolf (ed.) et al., Experimental algorithmics. From algorithm design to robust and efficient software. Berlin: Springer. Lect. Notes Comput. Sci. 2547, 24-50 (2002).
Summary: The process of implementing, debugging, testing, engineering and experimentally analyzing algorithmic codes is a complex and delicate task, fraught with many difficulties and pitfalls. In this context, traditional low-level textual debuggers or industrial-strength development environments can be of little help for algorithm engineers, who are mainly interested in high-level algorithmic ideas and not particularly in the language and platform-dependent details of actual implementations. Algorithm visualization environments provide tools for abstracting irrelevant program details and for conveying into still or animated images the high-level algorithmic behavior of a piece of software.
In this paper we address the role of visualization in algorithm engineering. We survey the main approaches and existing tools and we discuss difficulties and relevant examples where visualization systems have helped developers gain insight about algorithms, test implementation weaknesses, and tune suitable heuristics for improving the practical performances of algorithmic codes.
For the entire collection see [Zbl 1011.68694].

MSC:

68U99 Computing methodologies and applications
68W01 General topics in the theory of algorithms
68N19 Other programming paradigms (object-oriented, sequential, concurrent, automatic, etc.)
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