Pkviz is a tool for plotting and cycling through and animating a series of network packets captured by tcpdump. What makes it unique is that the packets’ structure is visualized, not any labels and not time itself. Pkviz takes each byte in a packet and plots it out end-to-end, left-to-right, from the first byte to the last. How high the dot gets plotted depends on the value of the byte: bytes with a value of 0 are at the bottom and those which are 255 (0xff) – the maximum value of a byte – get plotted at the top. This might not be interesting for one packet, but that changes when you start looking at thousands of packets. Pkviz can cycle through thousands of packets in the set so you can see what happened on the wire.
Dandelion is a 3D graph rendering application which can be controlled across a network. Its main purpose is to allow clear network graphs to be rendered in a window, which can be controlled by a separate application or the user. The Dandelion visualization is actually controlled by issuing simple commands to it across the network (although this could all be happening on a single machine). The Dandelion source includes a set of very simple libraries which can be incorporated into other applications and which can be used to send these commands. Libraries are included for C, C#, Java, and Python. The project was developed at Liverpool John Moores University within the PROTECT Centre.