Hibbard,W., Dyer,C., Paul,B.
This text is partially taken from [HIB92]
VIS-AD (VISualization for Algorithm Development) is a visualization-system to describe in a graphic or animation the function of algorithms. The essential feature is that VIS-AD allows the user to generate displays of any combinations of data objects.
At first to implement an algorithm one has to define a set of data types. These data types are defined so that every primitive value occurring in a data object has one of a finite set of scalar types (int, string, real, real2d, real3d). Furthermore types like real3d are tuples or in this case triples of real numbers. With these types the user can build his/her own variables and types like records such in C.
For choosing the best visual representation, VIS-AD uses a set of display types (x_axis, y_axis, z_axis, color, xyz_volume, animation,...).These types have also primitive types like real3d.
The system provides a simple syntax for specifying the values in a display. By choosing a display type for each variable the system is now able to display the algorithm ("map temperature to y_axis").
The user can interact very easily with the visual representations. The objects can be rotated, zoomed and translated in 3-D with simple mouse controls. Many different windows (for the algorithm, for choosing the display types for each variable or declaring a value area of a variable for animations) allow the user to make changes very quickly.
Last modified on March 29, 1999, G. Scott Owen, email@example.com