Interactive Computer Animation of Sketches of Data Structures

M. Esponda (Germany)


Algorithmic animation, e-learning, human computer interaction.


Algorithmic animation is used in Computer Science education for illustrating the steps and mechanics of algorithms represented by pseudocode. In this paper we show how to animate sketches of data structures drawn by a lecturer on an interactive whiteboard or large computer screen. The lecturer draws a graph, for example, and the computer automatically animates a shortest-path algorithm. Another example is sorting an array of handwritten numbers using Bubblesort or Quicksort. The main advantage of animating sketches of data structures is the immediacy of the result, the aesthetic appeal of the graphical output, and the possibility of illustrating an algorithm using easy to produce examples. The animations can be played in single step mode, or can be even played backwards. The system described here was implemented as a plug-in for the E-Learning system E Chalk.

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