Trace Vis


Solution for a networking course university assignment to visualize how the routes to a given target domain change over
time. Used technology:

  • Python 3.10: to develop the application
  • traceroute: to trace the routes to the target domain
  • mermaid.js: to visualize the routes
  • mume: to render markdown into static HTML

Example result:



This project uses Python 3.10 features (because why not?), so you will need to have Python 3.10 installed.

Create a virtual environment and install the requirements:

python3 -m venv venv
source venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt


Generating Traces

The target domains are defined as a static list in trace_vis/, as targets. You can edit this list, or just
accept that they are the defaults.

You can start the trace generation by running:

python -m trace_vis.main

This will spawn a process which will trace the domains in targets every 10 minutes. The results will be stored
into trace_runs.json. If you feel like you gathered enough data, you can stop the process (very gracefully) by
hitting: Ctrl-C.

After this, you will have to fix he JSON file manually, by placing all the lists into a single list, and removing the
last trailing comma.

Generating Graphs

Graphs are generated by mermaid.js, and the final markdown output is
rendered by mume, the engine behind the
marvelous vscode-markdown-preview-enhanced.

As you have probably already guessed, these libraries lead us into the realms of node_modules.

Generate Markdown

You can generate markdown files by running:

python -m trace_vis.vis

The files will be located in ./md/.

Render HTML

You can render the markdown files by installing the necessary npm packages and executing the build command:

cd md
npm i
npm run build

A single index.html file will be generated in the ./md/ directory.


This project was created in ~1 hour to solve a sub-problem of a university assignment. I am aware of various points
where this tool could be enhanced, such as using Jinja templating to generate the markdown output, or to add a CLI, to
mention the least. Oh, and comments: adding more comments would have been nice too. These are TODOs for an idealistic (
yet improbable) future, in which I do not abandon this project after the assignment’s submission deadline.


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