Visualising Java Data Structures as Graphs

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Executive Summary

This paper presents a simple, general-purpose tool for visualising Java data structures. The tool uses Java reflection and an open-source graph drawing program to produce text-book quality depictions of arbitrary Java objects. The tool offers certain pedagogical advantages over other "Heavy-Weight" visualisation systems. Its simplicity and generality means that students are able to visualise their own data structures, rather than passively observing a limited range of "Correct" visualisations prepared in advance by the lecturer.

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