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Visualizing Memory Graphs
Thomas Zimmermann and Andreas Zeller

Lehrstuhl für Softwaretechnik (Prof. Zeller)
Universität des Saarlandes – Informatik
Informatik Campus des Saarlandes
Campus E9 1 (CISPA)
66123 Saarbrücken
E-mail: zeller @ cs.uni-saarland.de
Telefon: +49 681 302-70970

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   Thomas Zimmermann and Andreas Zeller. Visualizing Memory Graphs. Proc. of the Dagstuhl Seminar 01211 "Software Visualization", Dagstuhl, Germany, May 2001. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) 2269, Springer-Verlag, pp. 191--204.
"A memory graph [...] can be used to answer questions like: Are there any pointers pointing to this address? How many elements does this data structure have? Is this allocated memory block reachable from within my module? Did this tree change during the last function call?" (A Structured View of Memory)

Get the paper in PDF format (716k, 12 pages).


To understand the dynamics of a running program, it is often useful to examine its state at specific moments during its execution. We present memory graphs as a means to capture and explore program states. A memory graph gives a comprehensive view of all data structures of a program; data items are related by operations like dereferencing, indexing or member access. Although memory graphs are typically too large to be visualized as a whole, one can easily focus on specific aspects using well-known graph operations. For instance, a greatest common subgraph visualizes commonalities and differences between program states.


Program understanding, debugging aids, diagnostics, data types and structures, graphs


  1. A Structured View of Memory
  2. An Example Graph
  3. Obtaining Memory Graphs
  4. Graph Differences
  5. Querying Memory Graphs
  6. Drawing Memory Graphs
  7. Conclusion


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<webmaster@st.cs.uni-saarland.de> · http://www.st.cs.uni-saarland.de/papers/sv2001/ · Stand: 2018-04-05 13:41