PVC: Visualizing C programs on web browsers for novices

Ryosuke Ishizue, Hironori Washizaki, Kazunori Sakamoto, Yoshiaki Fukazawa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many researchers have proposed program visualization tools for memory management because this is a challenging concept for novice programmers. For example, SeeC and PythonTutor (PT) are state-of-the-art tools for C languages. However, three problems hinder the use of these and other tools: capability (P1), installability (P2), and usability (P3). (P1) Tools do not fully support dynamic memory allocation or File Input / Output (I/O) and Standard Input. (P2) Novice programmers often have difficulty installing SeeC due to its dependence on Clang and setting up an offline environment that uses PT. (P3) Revisualization of the modified source code in SeeC requires several steps. To alleviate these issues, we propose a new visualization tool called PlayVisualizerC (PVC). PVC, which is designed for novice C language programmers to provide solutions (S1-3) for P1-3. S1 offers complete support for dynamic memory allocation, standard I/O, and file I/O. S2 involves installation in a user web browser and its server program is initiated by executing a jar file. S3 reduces the steps required for revisualization. To evaluate PVC, we conducted an experiment and questionnaire involving 30 students. Students using PVC solved a set of four programming tasks on average 1.7 times faster and with 19% more correct answers than those using a current state-of-the-art visualization tool.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2018 - Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Pages245-250
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450351034
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 21
Event49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2018 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: 2018 Feb 212018 Feb 24

Publication series

NameSIGCSE 2018 - Proceedings of the 49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
Volume2018-January

Other

Other49th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2018
CountryUnited States
CityBaltimore
Period18/2/2118/2/24

Keywords

  • C language
  • Visualization
  • Web application

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education

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