Towards a JSON-based Algorithm Animation Language

Artturi Tilanterä, Giacomo Mariani, Ari Korhonen, Otto Seppälä

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


Visual algorithm simulation (VAS) is a method used in teaching data structures and algorithms. In a VAS exercise a learner simulates the steps of an algorithm by interacting with data structure visualisations and receives feedback on the correctness of steps taken. A data format for storing VAS simulation traces would allow for later inspection of the process by instructors and researchers. In this study we describe the development of a prototype language for this purpose. The initial version was tested in a research project where the language was used for recording traces, which were later analyzed. The results were positive but also instructed some revisions in the data format and the requirements. We describe an iterative development process for extending and improving the language and the tooling. This is a work in progress: we will proceed with the data format specification, as well as further develop the technologies needed to use the data format in conjunction with VAS exercises.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 Working Conference on Software Visualization, VISSOFT 2021
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-3144-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-3145-3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventIEEE Working Conference on Software Visualization - Virtual, Online, Luxembourg , Luxembourg
Duration: 27 Sept 202128 Sept 2021


ConferenceIEEE Working Conference on Software Visualization
Abbreviated titleVISSOFT
City Luxembourg


  • algorithm visualization
  • Algorithm Animation
  • Visual Algorithm Simulation
  • Tracing
  • program tracing


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