Just TYPEical: Visualizing common function type signatures in R

A Sankey visualization illustrating a sample result from the project: type signatures for a subset of R’s base package functions.
Our type flow visualization showing type signatures for a subset of R’s base package functions. Function names are listed at the top followed by the first two argument types. Complete signatures are shown in the full visualization.

Data-driven approaches to programming language design are uncommon. Despite the availability of large code repositories, distilling semantically-rich information from programs remains difficult. Important dimensions, like run-time type data, are inscrutable without the appropriate tools. We contribute a task abstraction and interactive visualization, TYPEical, for programming language designers who are exploring and analyzing type information from execution traces. Our approach aids user understanding of function type signatures across many executions. Insights derived from our visualization are aimed at informing language design decisions — specifically of a new gradual type system being developed for the R programming language. A copy of this paper, along with all the supplemental material, is available at osf.io/mc6zt.

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Cameron Moy
Julia Belyakova
Alexi Turcotte

Data Visualization @ Khoury — Northeastern University
West Village H, Room 302
440 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA