Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


First Advisor

Hongfeng Yu

Date of this Version

Summer 8-2019


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfilment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Computer Science, Under the Supervision of Professor Hongfeng Yu. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2019

Copyright 2019 Li Zhang


Eye tracking is a frequently used technique to collect data capturing users' strategies and behaviors in processing information. Understanding how programmers navigate through a large number of classes and methods to find bugs is important to educators and practitioners in software engineering. However, the eye tracking data collected on realistic codebases is massive compared to traditional eye tracking data on one static page. The same content may appear in different areas on the screen with users scrolling in an Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Hierarchically structured content and fluid method position compose the two major challenges for visualization. We present a dual-space analysis approach to explore eye tracking data by leveraging existing software visualizations and a new graph embedding visualization. We use the graph embedding technique to quantify the distance between two arbitrary methods, which offers a more accurate visualization of distance with respect to the inherent relations, compared with the direct software structure and the call graph. The visualization offers both naturalness and readability showing time-varying eye movement data in both the content space and the embedded space, and provides new discoveries in developers' eye tracking behaviors.

Adviser: Hongfeng Yu