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Visualization of Computer Architecture (RaVi)

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General Description

Rechnerarchitektur Visualisierung - RaVi is a set of interactive training components for the teaching of the computer architecture. Each component visualises an aspect of the dynamic behaviour that is found in computer architectures. For example the behaviour of a micro-coded MISP-processor, a MISP-pipeline, the MESI protocol or the Score-boarding.

The development of these components has been trigged by the lack on interactive teaching (learning) material in the context of computer engineering. There was a demand on dynamic and interactive teaching material which supplies more facilities than a slide presentation or an animation. The components of RaVi provide an opportunity to change the parameters or the input values interactively and to directly observe the variances in the behaviour described by the component. For example, the execution of MISP instructions is not fixed and cannot be effectively visualised using earlier tools. During the demonstration the lecturer can change the instructions and show the differences between the data routes taken.
An additional aspect is, that RaVi supports explorative learning. The integration of the RaVi components into labs for example is a way to make them available for the students. This way, the students have the chance to explore the dynamic behaviour themselves and this means an essential improvement of the teaching material for computer architecture.

For making the RaVi components usable for a large number of lecturers, all examples based on the book "Computer Organizition and Design" of John L. Hennessy and David A. Patterson, which is the standard book for teaching computer architecture all over the world. The RaVi components have been used in lectures on computer architecture at the University of Dortmund, Germany. The components have been evaluated and the feedback is considered during the development of components.

The development of RaVi is a part of a larger project, the so called SIMBA project . SIMBA stands for "Basic Concepts of Informatics in Multimedia Modules under Special Consideration Learning of the Specific Interests of Women" and is a part of the German government program "New Media in Higher Education".

SIMBA projectSIMBA project

Download and Installation

From this website you can download a free version of RaVi. You will find all information about system requirements, download and installation in Download.


A listing and a detailed description of the RaVi components and their use you will find under Documentation and Online Demo (currently not working).


We are interested in learning your experience with RaVi. For any questions and comments contact:

Embedded systems group
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