Online programming communities are widely used by programmers for troubleshooting or various problem solving tasks. Large and ever increasing volume of posts on these communities demands more efforts to read and comprehend thus making it harder to find relevant information. In my thesis; I designed and studied an alternate approach by using interactive network visualization to represent relevant search results for online programming discussion forums.
I conducted user study to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach. Results show that users were able to identify relevant information more precisely via visual interface as compared to traditional list based approach. Network visualization demonstrated effective search-result navigation support to facilitate user’s tasks and improved query quality for successive queries. Subjective evaluation also showed that visualizing search results conveys more semantic information in efficient manner and makes searching more effective.