ParaVis: A Library For Visualizing And Debugging Parallel Applications

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Published In

IEEE International Symposium On Parallel And Distributed Processing, Workshops And Phd Forum (IPDPSW)


This paper presents ParaVis, a visualization library designed to aid programmers' understanding of their parallel programs and to help them identify bugs with parallelization. ParaVis is particularly targeted for programmers who are first learning parallel programming or learning a new parallel language. It provides easy-to-use C and C++ interfaces to create 2D animations of parallel computation that help programmers understand parallel data decomposition patterns. These visualizations are also helpful in illustrating errors in parallel programs. Additionally, because students often find visualization fun, the use of our library often results in students developing interesting extensions to problems, thus promoting a deeper understanding and richer experience with parallel computing. Currently we provide support and sample implementations for pthreads, OpenMP, CUDA, and sequential applications. To test its effectiveness for parallel computing education, we deployed ParaVis for lab assignments in both intermediate and upper level courses. We present example applications, and evaluate the use of the library across our undergraduate CS curriculum.

Published By



2019 IEEE International Parallel And Distributed Processing Symposium Workshops

Conference Dates

May 20-24, 2019

Conference Location

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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