Information Visualization Techniques

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AlphaSlider

[AHLB94]

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of AlphaSlider

Animation

[ROBE93] [ROBE91a] [ROBE91b]

Description

Animation keeps the user from becoming disoriented when the system rearranges the data to present a new visualization display. When using animation, the system creates a smooth transition between one view and another.

see animated cone tree papers: (listed at top)

Advantages

Disadvantages

Butterfly Citation Browser

[HEAR96] [MACK95]

Description

The butterfly's head shows a summary of the bibliographic information for an article. The wings show the article's references on the left and citers of the article on the right. Clicking on an item in one of the wings retrieves that bibliographic record. [RAO]

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Butterfly Citation Browser

[picture with [MACK95] on the WWW]

Cone Tree

[ROBE91a] [ROBE91b] [ROBE93] [CARR95]

Description

For hierarchical data.

Bring any node to the front by clicking on it, which smoothly rotates the tree.

Advantages

Good for evenly-balanced trees.

Disadvantages

Picture of Cone Tree

Data Sphere

[PEAR93] (contains criticisms of tree maps and cone trees)

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Data Sphere

Dynamic Queries

[AHLB92] [SHNE94]

Description

This technique allows the user to change the query parameters and see the display update in real time.

Dynamic queries continuously update search results—within 100 milliseconds—as users adjust sliders or select buttons to ask simple questions of fact or to find patterns or exceptions. [SHNE94]

Advantages

users can quickly discover...

Disadvantages

Picture of Dynamic Queries

Fisheye Views

[SARK92] [SARK94]

Description

a fisheye view of a graph shows an area of interest quite large and with detail and shows other areas successively smaller and in less detail. it achieves this smooth integration of local detail and global context by repositioning and resizing the elements of the graph. [SARK94]

cartesian vs. polar transformations

A cartesian transformation has the property that all the vertical and horizontal lines remain vertical and horizontal after the transformation. [SARK94]

Advantages

user can control the distortion factors

Disadvantages

Picture of Fisheye Views

Focus Interactive Table

[SPEN96]

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Focus Interactive Table

Fractal Tree

[KOIK93] [KOIK95]

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Fractal Tree

Hyperbolic Tree Browser

Description

The essence of this scheme is to lay out the hierarchy in a uniform way on a hyperbolic plane and map this plane onto a circular display region. This supports a smooth blending between focus and context, as well as continuous redirection of the focus. [LAMP95]

The circumference of a circle on the hyperbolic plane grows exponentially with its radius, which means that exponentially more space is available with increasing distance. Thus hierarchies—which tend to expand exponentially with depth—can be laid out in hyperbolic space in a uniform way, so that the distance (as measured in the hyperbolic geometry) between parents, children, and siblings is approximately the same everywhere in the hierarchy. [LAMP95]

Advantages

Can display a similar number of nodes as can the cone tree, but doesn't require 3D animation support. Relatively modest computation needs because it's 2D. This makes it useful on a wider variety of platforms.

displays more of a node's context in all directions (ancestors, siblings, and descendants) than the fractal layouts.

Disadvantages

Picture of Hyperbolic Tree Browser

Magic Lens

[BIER93]

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Magic Lens

Movable Filter

[STON94] [FISH]

Description

"...queries generated by these [other] systems are limited to conjunctions of global ranges of parameter values... we extend dynamic queries by encoding each operand of the query as a Magic Lens filter. Compound queries can be constructed by overlapping the lenses. Each lens includes a slider and a set of buttons to control the value of the filter function and to define the composition operation generated by overlapping the lenses." [FISH]

used in conjunction with a starfield display (aka scatterplot)

"We define for each filter a filtering function and a composition mode that describes how the result of the filtering function is combined with the output of the lenses underneath...the NOT operation can be encoded as a lens whose filter inverts the sense of the data coming in...to incorporate grouping...we provide an operation that replaces a stack of lenses with a single compound lens that is semantically equivalent." [FISH]

Real-valued queries

"Filters assign a real-valued score on the range [0..1] to each datum. Data with a score of 0 fails the filter entirely, data with a score of 1 succeeds entirely, and data with intermediate scores partially satisfy the filter." [FISH]

Advantages

Disadvantages

When used as a magnifying lens, introduces discontinuities at the boundaries of the lens.

Picture of Movable Filter

Multiple Views

[MUKH95b] [MUKH95a]

Description

provide the user with different hierarchies, each giving a different perspective on the underlying information space

networks are much harder to visualize then hierarchies uses a data structure called the pre-tree to convert a generalized graph into a tree

Two methods of clustering:

Three metrics for ranking possible pre-trees:

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Multiple Views

Pad++

[v]

Description

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Pad++

Perspective Wall

[MACK91]

Description

for linearly-structured data

examples of linear data:

two principal obstacles to visualizing linear information structures:

descendant of the bifocal display (look it up!)

Advantages

smooth transitions: moves as if a piano roll

Disadvantages

Picture of Perspective Wall

Query Spreadsheet / Information Crystal

[SPOE93]

Description

create a boolean query as a venn diagram.

nest queries to create more complex queries.

boolean spreadsheet is an iconic display that shows the results of the query

(not a tool for creating the query) ( is this true? )

however, the results can be combined visually into more complex queries?

the result is a kind of raking in which groups closer to the center of the spreadsheet satisfy more of the boolean query than groups on the periphery of the spreadsheet.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Query Spreadsheet / Information Crystal

RangeSlider

[???]

Description

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Disadvantages

Picture of RangeSlider

Scatter/Gather and Iterative Query Refinement

[HEAR96] [PIRO95] [RAO]

Description

This technique allows the user to repeatedly sift information using successive queries that eventually pinpoint the data of interest.

"A browsing paradigm...which allows a user to rapidly assess the general contents of a very large collection by scanning through a hierarchical representation that acts like a dynamic table of contents. Initially the system scatters, or clusters, the collection into a small number of document groups, and present short summaries of the groups to the user. These summaries consists of two types of information: topical titles (titles of documents close to the cluster centroid) and typical terms (terms of importance in the cluster). Based on these summaries, the user selects one or more of the groups for further study. The selected groups are gathered, or unioned, together to form a subcollection. The system then reapplies clustering to scatter the new subcollection into a small number of document groups, which are again presented to the user. With each successive iteration the clusters become smaller, and their contents more refined. The user may, at any time, switch to a more focused search method." [RAO]
"The document clustering algorithm is optimized for speed, to encourage interaction, rather to guarantee accuracy." [HEAR96]

IQR is really from Xerox, Scatter/Gather.

"...emphasizes the participation of the user in a cycle of query formulation, presentation of search results, and query reformulation. Since the focus is on query repair, the information presented is typically not document descriptions, but rather intermediate information indicating relationships between the query and the retrieved documents." [RAO]

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Scatter/Gather and Iterative Query Refinement

SeeSoft

[EICK95]

Description

Used for text-change tracking.

Displays indentation, line lengths, and paragraphs in miniature.

Color coding indicates last modification date.

Shows the distribution of the salient property (eg modification date).

column lengths indicates relative file sizes

four key ideas:

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of SeeSoft

Starfield Displays

[SHNE96] [JOG]

Description

Starfield displays plot items from a database as small selectable glyphs using two of the ordinal attributes of the data as the variables along the display axes. [JOG]

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Starfield Displays

Tile Bars

[HEAR95] [HEAR96] [RAO]

Description

"...the TileBars interface allows the user to make informed decisions about which documents and passages to view, based on the distributional behavior of the query terms in the documents. The goal is to simultaneously and compactly indicate (i) the relative length of the document, (ii) the frequency of the term sets in the document, and (iii) the distribution of the terms sets with respect to the document and to one another." [RAO]
"This paper argues for making use of text structure when retrieving from full text documents, and presents a visualization paradigm, called TileBars, that demonstrates the usefulness of explicit term distribution information in Boolean-type queries. TileBars simultaneously and compactly indicate relative document length, query term frequency, and query term distribution. The patterns in a column of TileBars can be quickly scanned and deciphered, aiding users in making judgements about the potential relevance of the retrieved documents." [HEAR95]

shows where terms overlap in the document

an alternative to ranking the results of boolean queries

Advantages

Disadvantages

Picture of Tile Bars

TreeMaps

[JOHN92] [JOHN91]

Description

Should be under focus+context?

For hierarchical information.

Used for seeing hard disk space and structure.

an alternative to listings, outlines, and tree diagrams (but not to other IV techniques!)

visual display properties:

Advantages

Note: easy to spot minima or maxima, but sometimes relevancy isn't determined by some extreme valuation.

Disadvantages

Picture of TreeMaps

Variable Zoom

[SCHA96]

Description

too complicated for now!

Advantages

Disadvantages

Zoom Bar

[JOG]

Description

A new widget for zooming and panning. Instead of zooming towards or away from a focal point, zoom towards or away from a fixed line. Filter by changing the range of displayed values on one of the axes.

Zooming a starfield display should be incremental and flicker-free so that users can track the motion of each rectangle. [JOG]

Utilized in the Film Finder.

Purposes of zooming

Advantages

Why zoom bar is better than camera-type zooming:

Disadvantages

Picture of Zoom Bar