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AVI Tables of Contents: 9496980002040608101214

Proceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces

Fullname:AVI'02 Working Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces
Editors:Maria De Marsico; Stefano Levialdi; Emanuele Panizzi
Location:Trento, Italy
Dates:2002-May-22 to 2002-May-24
Standard No:ISBN: 1-58113-537-8; ACM DL: Table of Contents hcibib: AVI02
  1. Invited papers
  2. Cultural landscape
  3. Systems' presentation
  4. Visualisation within interaction
  5. Interacting with information
  6. Focusing attention
  7. Visual querying
  8. Visual elements
  9. Visual applications
  10. Visual tools
  11. Posters

Invited papers

User-interface design, culture, and the future BIBAKFull-Text 15-27
  Aaron Marcus
This paper introduces the cultural anthropologist Hofstede's culture dimensions and considers how they might affect user-interface designs. Examples from the Web illustrate the cultural dimensions User-interface designers have identified basic components of user interfaces. An initial mapping of culture dimensions to user-interface components seeks to help user-interface designers cope with global product and service development. Ultimately, tools might emerge to facilitate tuning designs per culture.
Keywords: appearance, culture, design, globalization, interaction, localization, mental models, metaphors, user interface
Reflections on symmetry BIBAKFull-Text 28-33
  Harold Thimbleby
Symmetry is routinely used in visual design, but in fact is not just a visual concept. This paper explores how deeper symmetries in user interface implementations can be 'reflected' in the design of the user interface, and make them easier to use. This deeper application of symmetry for user interface design is related to affordance, and therefore makes that concept constructively applicable. Recommendations for programming better user interfaces are suggested.
   "Symmetry, as wide or as narrow as you may define its meaning, is one idea by which man through the ages has tried to comprehend and create order, beauty, and perfection." Hermann Weyl [16]
Keywords: affordance, object orientation, statechart, symmetry, user interface design
Supporting the end users' views BIBAKFull-Text 34-42
  David F. Redmiles
End users of software have the right to systems that are both useful and usable, a property termed usability in the software and human-computer interaction communities. Unfortunately, it is not obvious what methods or techniques developers of software should adopt in order to achieve good usability in a product. There are a confounding number of questions. How can different points of view among end users be incorporated into a software development process? What does it mean to treat software developers as end users, namely of software tools? How do the limitations of software practice, such as minimizing time to release, affect what information can be collected and used to make usability decisions? This paper presents a variety of possibilities for supporting all the end users' views in a software development activity. Both tools and methods are suggested, roughly organized according to the different activities in software development. Moreover, end users are defined to be a variety of stakeholders in a software development project, including at the very least the end users of a product but also developers who are end users of software tools.
Keywords: activity theory, cognitive theory, design, design environments, event monitoring, human-computer interaction, knowledge-based systems, organizational memory, social theory, software engineering, usability engineering

Cultural landscape

Artistically conveying peripheral information with the InfoCanvas BIBAKFull-Text 43-50
  Todd Miller; John Stasko
The Internet and World Wide Web have made a tremendous amount of information available to people today. Taking advantage of and managing this information, however, is becoming increasingly challenging due to its volume and the variety of sources available. We attempt to reduce this overload with the InfoCanvas, an ambient display of a personalized, information-driven, visual collage. Through a web-based interface, people identify information of interest, associate a pictorial representation with it, and place the representation on a virtual canvas. The end result is an information collage, displayed on a secondary monitor or net appliance, that allows people to keep tabs on information in a calm, unobtrusive manner. This paper presents details on how a person can create and manage information with the InfoCanvas, and how we provide such capabilities.
Keywords: ambient display, information awareness, peripheral information display, visualization
A framework for designing fisheye views to support multiple semantic contexts BIBAKFull-Text 51-58
  Paul Janecek; Pearl Pu
In this paper we discuss the design and use of fisheye view techniques to explore semantic relationships in information. Traditional fisheye and "focus + context" techniques dynamically modify the visual rendering of data in response to the changing interest of the user. "Interesting" information is shown in more detail or visually emphasized, while less relevant information is shown in less detail, de-emphasized, or filtered. These techniques are effective for navigating through large sets of information in a constrained display, and for discovering hidden relationships in a particular representation. An open area of research with these techniques, however, is how to redefine interest as a user's tasks and information needs change.
   We are developing a framework for implementing fisheye views to support multiple semantic contexts. The framework is based on two components: Degree Of Interest functions, and visual emphasis algorithms to change the representation of information with respect to interest. The framework supports different contexts through the aggregation of multiple weighted distance metrics in the calculation of interest.
   Using this framework, we have developed a user-configurable interface for browsing tabular data that visually emphasizes objects with respect to different semantic contexts.
Keywords: emphasis algorithms, focus + context techniques, information visualization, semantic fisheye views
Zooming, multiple windows, and visual working memory BIBAKFull-Text 59-68
  Matthew Plumlee; Colin Ware
Zooming and multiple windows are two techniques designed to address the focus-in-context problem. We present a theoretical model of performance that models the relative benefits of these techniques when used by humans for completing a task involving comparisons between widely separated groups of objects. The crux of the model is its cognitive component: the strength of multiple windows comes in the way they aid visual working memory. The task to which we apply our model is multiscale comparison, in which a user begins with a known visual pattern and searches for an identical or similar pattern among distracters. The model predicts that zooming should be better for navigating between a few distant locations when demands on visual memory are low, but that multiple windows are more efficient when demands on visual memory are higher, or there are several distant locations that must be investigated. To evaluate our model we conducted an experiment in which users performed a multiscale comparison task using both zooming and multiple-window interfaces. The results confirm the general predictions of our model.
Keywords: focus-in-context, interaction design, multiple windows, multiscale, multiscale comparison, visual working memory, zooming
What's happening?: promoting community awareness through opportunistic, peripheral interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 69-74
  Qiang Alex Zhao; John T. Stasko
Maintaining an awareness of information about one's own community and its members is viewed as being important, but is becoming more challenging today as people are overwhelmed by so many different forms of information. This paper describes the "What's Happening" suite of tools for helping convey relevant and interesting community information to people in a manner that is minimally distracting and disruptive, with little or no user set-up and interaction. The tools are more lightweight than e-mail and Usenet news, and opportunistic in providing information to people when they are not deeply focused on some other task.
Keywords: CSCW, community awareness, informal communication, multimedia, opportunistic interfaces, peripheral interfaces
A user-tracing architecture for modeling interaction with the world wide web BIBAKFull-Text 75-83
  Peter Pirolli; Wai-Tat Fu; Robert Reeder; Stuart K. Card
We have developed a methodology for studying and analyzing the psychology of users performing ecologically valid WWW tasks. A user trace is a record of all significant states and events in the user-WWW interaction based on eye tracking data, application-level logs, and think-aloud protocols. A user-tracing architecture has been implemented for developing simulation models of user-WWW interaction and for comparing a simulation model (SNIF-ACT) against user-trace data. The user tracing architecture compares each action of the SNIF-ACT simulation directly against observed user actions. The model and architecture have been used to successfully match detailed user trace data from four users working on two tasks each.
Keywords: ACT-R, SNIF-ACT, information foraging, user models, user tracing, world wide web

Systems' presentation

A visual interface to a music database BIBAKFull-Text 85-88
  Robert St. Amant; James E. Blair; Patrick Barry; Yinon Bentor; Christopher G. Healey
This paper describes a system for exploring and selecting entries from a music database through a visualization interface. The system is designed for deployment in situations in which the user's attention is a tightly limited resource. The system combines research topics in intelligent user interfaces, visualization techniques, and cognitive modeling. Informal evaluation of the system has given us useful insights into the design tradeoffs that developers may face when building visual interfaces for off-the-desktop applications.
Keywords: cognitive modeling, driving, visualization
Managing layout constraints in a platform for customized multimedia content packaging BIBAKFull-Text 89-93
  Alexander Kröner; Patrick Brandmeier; Thomas Rist
A promising approach to customize the delivery of multimedia content is based on methods for compiling content packages from repositories of existing media assets, such as text paragraphs and images. Since the authors of media assets may have specified layout preferences for their assets neither knowing in which package these assets eventually will occur, nor knowing the personal layout preferences of all potential customers, layout conflicts, such as incompatible style attributes, are preprogrammed when packages are compiled on the fly by an automated system. In this contribution we present a constraint-based approach for resolving layout conflicts in automatically compiled content packages. Depending on the number and nature of the layout constraints to be considered, many eligible layout styles may exist. In fact, the exploration of a style solution space creates a problem on its own. Therefore, we are also investigating clustering and visualization techniques to assist a system administrator in the exploration of the solution space. The work has been conducted in the context of the EU funded project IMAGEN which aims at the development of an integrated set of tools for the customized publication and distribution of multimedia content.
Keywords: WWW interfaces, adaptive interfaces, hyper- and multimedia
What did they do? understanding clickstreams with the WebQuilt visualization system BIBAKFull-Text 94-102
  Sarah J. Waterson; Jason I. Hong; Tim Sohn; James A. Landay; Jeffrey Heer; Tara Matthews
This paper describes the visual analysis tool WebQuilt, a web usability logging and visualization system that helps web design teams record and analyze usability tests. The logging portion of WebQuilt unobtrusively gathers clickstream data as users complete specified tasks. This data is then aggregated and presented as an interactive graph, where nodes of the graph are images of the web pages visited, and arrows are the transitions between pages. To aid analysis of the gathered usability test data, the WebQuilt visualization provides filtering capabilities and semantic zooming, allowing the designer to understand the test results at the gestalt view of the entire graph, and then drill down to sub-paths and single pages. The visualization highlights important usability issues, such as pages where users spent a lot of time, pages where users get off track during the task, navigation patterns, and exit pages, all within the context of a specific task. WebQuilt is designed to conduct remote usability testing on a variety of Internet-enabled devices and provide a way to identify potential usability problems when the tester cannot be present to observe and record user actions.
Keywords: log file analysis, remote usability evaluation, semantic zooming, usability evaluation, web visualization
Op-Glyph: a tool for exploring op art representation of height and vector field data BIBAKFull-Text 103-107
  Francis T. Marchese
We report our experiences with application of the optical art techniques of Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley to visualization of height field and vector field data. The bold use of color and simple form in Op Art engages the preattentive processing ability of the human visual system, facilitating a nearly instantaneous perception of image properties without the need for extended scrutiny of component parts. A software system called Op-Glyph was constructed to illustrate the Op Art method for data visualization, providing a user with extensive control over a visual representation's primitives, including shape, size, and color. Initial results suggest that this glyph-based approach to data visualization may be a viable alternative or complement to more complex representation schemes, particularly in situations where there are limited processing or graphical capabilities, such as with PDAs.
Keywords: glyph, information visualization, non-photorealistic rendering, optical art
Matrix: concept animation and algorithm simulation system BIBAKFull-Text 109-114
  Ari Korhonen; Lauri Malmi
Data structures and algorithms include abstract concepts and processes, which people often find difficult to understand. Examples of these are complex data types and procedural encoding of algorithms. Software visualization can significantly help in solving the problem.
   In this paper we describe the platform independent Matrix system which combines algorithm animation with algorithm simulation, where the user interacts directly with data structures through a graphical user interface. The simulation process created by the user can be stored and played back in terms of algorithm animation. In addition, existing library routines can be used for creating illustrations of advanced abstract data types, or for animating and simulating user's own algorithms. Moreover, Matrix provides an extensive set of visual concepts for algorithm animation. These concepts include visualizations for primitive types, arrays, lists, trees, and graphs. This set can be extended further by using arbitrarily nested visualizations.
Keywords: algorithm animation, algorithm simulation, software visualization
Direct manipulation of pictorial items within web sites: a drag & drop approach to on-line interaction BIBAKFull-Text 115-118
  Mauro Mosconi; Marco Porta; Federico Zanetti
We present here a working prototypal Web site where a new approach for on-line interaction has been implemented and tested. Our intention is to improve the usability of Web sites (particularly e-commerce ones) by letting users directly interact with pictorial representations of objects (e.g. items on sale) in a way that resembles their behavior in real-world stores. Our discussion focuses both on the manifold usability benefits of the approach and on practical implementation issues.
Keywords: Shelves & Cart®, direct manipulation, e-commerce, multi-frame drag & drop, usability
An environment for user interface softbots BIBAKFull-Text 119-122
  Robert St. Amant; Ajay Dudani
A user interface softbot is a software agent that controls an interactive system through the graphical user interface, relying on visual information from the system rather than an application programming interface or access to source code. Interface softbots have acted as autonomous agents in applications such as drawing and data recording, and the core vision processing algorithms have been incorporated into cognitive models for simple problem-solving tasks. Building interface softbots is still a time-consuming task, unfortunately, requiring experience with complex program components as well as the details of the visual interface. We have developed a prototype development environment that facilitates the development of interface softbots, streamlining the programming process and making it more accessible to new developers.
Keywords: agents, interface softbots, programming environments
A web-based annotation tool supporting e-learning BIBAKFull-Text 123-128
  F. Bonifazi; S. Levialdi; P. Rizzo; R. Trinchese
A typical user, when learning, annotates text, figures and other contents, so as to better highlight, memorize, and retrieve relevant information. A few annotation programs exist but either change the contents of the document, or do not support distance learning through the web. We report work-in-progress on a <u>u</u>ser-<u>c</u>entered <u>a</u>nnotation <u>t</u>ool (UCAT) which allows students to annotate, following their personal styles, (using different icons, colors and signed versions) any document belonging to authorware within a course. We have chosen Amaya as the working environment since, belonging to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), it complies with the semantic web specifications on document formats, like RDF. An example of the deployment of UCAT will be shown in the paper.
Keywords: annotation, e-learning, www interfaces
Interactive visual tools for spatial multicriteria decision making BIBAKFull-Text 129-132
  Gennady L. Andrienko; Natalia V. Andrienko
Spatial decision making is a complex cognitive process which requires appropriate support by interactive maps and other computer graphics. We develop tools to facilitate multicriteria evaluation of options by individuals as well as tools for analysis of results of voting in group decision making. Spatial distribution of options is represented by interactive map in combination with analysis of multidimensional attribute characteristics of decision options in statistical graphics.
Keywords: interactive tools, multicriteria optimization, spatial decision support
Multimodal interface within a simulator of service robotic applications BIBAKFull-Text 133-137
  Enzo Mumolo; Massimiliano Nolich; Gianni Vercelli
The use of a multimodal interfaces for human-robot communication is an open issue, with a true market in service robotic applications. This paper describes a service robotic simulator which uses a multimodal interface (audio-video, speech-prosodic communication based) that demonstrates the usefulness of integrating many "modes" of interaction. A typical service robotic architecture is multi-layered: cognitive, deliberative, reactive layers are the most referred terms in literature. The design of each level requires an accurate testing methodology; the system development is thus accelerated and simplified using a simulator. The paradigm we take into account consists of robots and human operators continuously linked to a supervising centre. The operator's natural mode of communication is dialogue-based: so far the system we propose uses a prosody-based visuo-dialogical interface with the robot by means of keywords and prosody extracted from spoken commands. The simulator is based on this paradigm and allows to interact by means of conversational and visual interfaces. The former is composed by: speech recognition, prosody detection, keyword extraction, text to speech conversion; the latter by a visual interface and VRML 3D visualization.
Keywords: multimodal interface, prosody, robotic simulation, service robotics, vocal dialogue
OZONE: a zoomable interface for navigating ontology information BIBAKFull-Text 139-143
  Bongwon Suh; Benjamin B. Bederson
We present OZONE (Zoomable Ontology Navigator), for searching and browsing ontological information. OZONE visualizes query conditions and provides interactive, guided browsing for DAML (DARPA Agent Markup Language) ontologies on the Web. To visually represent objects in DAML, we define a visual model for its classes, properties and relationships between them. Properties can be expanded into classes for query refinement. The visual query can be formulated incrementally as users explore class and property structures interactively. Zoomable interface techniques are employed for effective navigation and usability.
Keywords: DAML, browsing, jazz, ontology, www, zoomable user interface (ZUI)
Extending the metaphor GIS query language and environment to 3D domains BIBAKFull-Text 144-147
  G. Tortora; L. Paolino; M. Sebillo; G. Vitiello; F. Pittarello
The aim of our research is to provide GIS users with a visual environment where they can formulate spatial queries which implicitly capture the double nature of geographical data. In particular, in this paper we propose an extension to the MGISQL visual environment, where users may pose 3D queries about those phenomena where the third dimension is a relevant feature for data retrieving. The interaction between users and the visual environment is performed by manipulating 3D geometaphors. The underlying algebra for spatial operators is enriched accordingly. Visual queries are composed in a 3D environment, called the Sensitive Cube, characterized by the 3D geometaphors, visualized as 'floating objects'.
   A prototype of the 3D MGISQL visual environment has been realized, which allows users to query an archaeological-geographical database, whose experimental data refer to a site located around the city of Salerno.
Keywords: 3D manipulation, archaeological databases, geographical information systems, visual environment, visual query languages

Visualisation within interaction

A method for the perceptual optimization of complex visualizations BIBAKFull-Text 148-155
  Donald House; Colin Ware
A common problem in visualization applications is the display of one surface overlying another. Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult to do this clearly and effectively. Stereoscopic viewing can help, but in order for us to be able to see both surfaces simultaneously, they must be textured, and the top surface must be made partially transparent. There is also abundant evidence that all textures are not equal in helping to reveal surface shape, but there are no general guidelines describing the best set of textures to be used in this way. What makes the problem difficult to perceptually optimize is that there are a great many variables involved. Both foreground and background textures must be specified in terms of their component colors, texture element shapes, distributions, and sizes. Also to be specified is the degree of transparency for the foreground texture components. Here we report on a novel approach to creating perceptually optimal solutions to complex visualization problems and we apply it to the overlapping surface problem as a test case. Our approach is a three-stage process. In the first stage we create a parameterized method for specifying a foreground and background pair of textures. In the second stage a genetic algorithm is applied to a population of texture pairs using subject judgments as a selection criterion. Over many trials effective texture pairs evolve. The third stage involves characterizing and generalizing the examples of effective textures. We detail this process and present some early results.
Keywords: genetic algorithms, layered surface visualization, stereoscopic viewing
Drawing graphs with non-uniform vertices BIBAKFull-Text 157-166
  David Harel; Yehuda Koren
The vertices of most graphs that appear in real applications are non-uniform. They can be circles, ellipses, rectangles, or other geometric elements of varying shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, current force directed methods for laying out graphs are suitable mostly for graphs whose vertices are zero-sized and dimensionless points. It turns out that naively extending these methods to handle non-uniform vertices results in serious deficiencies in terms of output quality and performance. In this paper we try to remedy this situation by identifying the special characteristics and problematics of such graphs and offering several algorithms for tackling them. The algorithms can be viewed as carefully constructed extensions of force-directed methods, and their output quality and performance are similar.
Keywords: force directed optimization, graph drawing, vertex overlaps, visualization
by chance enhancing interaction with large data sets through statistical sampling BIBAKFull-Text 167-176
  Alan Dix; Geoff Ellis
The use of random algorithms in many areas of computer science has enabled the solution of otherwise intractable problems. In this paper we propose that random sampling can make the visualisation of large datasets both more computationally efficient and more perceptually effective. We review the explicit uses of randomness and the related deterministic techniques in the visualisation literature. We then discuss how sampling can augment existing systems. Furthermore, we demonstrate a novel 2D zooming interface -- the Astral Telescope Visualiser, a visualisation suggested and enabled by sampling. We conclude by considering some general usability and technical issues raised by sampling-based visualisation.
Keywords: astral telescope visualiser, random sampling, sampling from databases, very large data sets, visualisation

Interacting with information

Supporting co-evolution of users and systems by the recognition of interaction patterns BIBAKFull-Text 177-186
  Stefano Arondi; Pietro Baroni; Daniela Fogli; Piero Mussio
This paper presents an approach to support the designer of Visual Interactive Systems (VISs) in adapting a VIS to the evolution of its users. This process is called co-evolution of users and systems. The approach is based on the identification of the patterns of interaction between the user and an interactive system and on their use for the evolution of the system to facilitate novel usages introduced by the user. The approach is focused on WIMP systems and is based on the recently introduced PCL (Pictorial Computing Laboratory) model of interaction, within which we provide a novel definition of interaction pattern. The proposal assumes that the VIS is observed by an external system called SIC (Supporting Interaction Co-evolution), which is in charge of recording the interactions between the user and the VIS and of analyzing the relevant interaction patterns. In particular, SIC exploits a UML-based statechart specification of the VIS in order to associate observed user activities with the states of the interactive process. This information provides a useful basis for a variety of pattern recognition techniques. Two techniques called usual state and recurrent sequence recognition are illustrated and the results of a first experiment are discussed.
Keywords: co-evolution, system observation, visual interface design, visual sentence
Group-based interface for content-based image retrieval BIBAKFull-Text 187-194
  Munehiro Nakazato; Ljubomir Manola; Thomas S. Huang
In Content-based Image Retrieval (CBIR) systems, the Query-by-Example (QBE) approach is commonly used. However, because of inevitable "semantic gaps" between visual features and the user's concepts, trial-and-error query is essential for successful retrieval. Unfortunately, traditional user interfaces are not suitable for trying different combinations of query examples. This is because in these systems, query specification and result display are done on the same workspace. Once the user removes an image from the query examples, the image may disappear from the user interface. In addition, it is difficult to combine the result of different queries.
   In this paper, we propose a new interface for Content-based image retrieval. In our system, the users can interactively compare different combinations of query examples by dragging and grouping images on the workspace (Query-by-Group.) Because the query results are displayed on another pane, the user can quickly review the results. Combining different queries is also easy. Furthermore, the concept of "image groups" is also applied to annotating and organizing a large number of images. Because the gestural operations of our system is similar to file operations of modern window-based operation systems, users can easily learn to use the system.
Keywords: content-based image retrieval, digital photography, image database, information retrieval
Real-time human motion analysis for human-machine interface BIBAKFull-Text 195-202
  Rin-ichiro Taniguchi; Satoshi Yonemoto; Daisaku Arita
This paper presents real-time human motion analysis for human-machine interface. In general, man-machine 'smart' interface requires real-time human motion capturing systems without special devices or markers. Although vision-based human motion capturing systems do not use such special devices and markers, they are essentially unstable and can only acquire partial information because of self-occlusion. When we analyze full-body motion, the problem becomes more severer. Therefore, we have to introduce a robust pose estimation strategy to deal with relatively poor results of image analysis. To solve this problem, we have developed a method to estimate full-body human postures, where an initial estimation is acquired by real-time inverse kinematics and, based on the estimation, more accurate estimation is searched for referring to the processed image. The key point is that our system can estimate full-body human postures from limited perceptual cues such as positions of a head, hands and feet, which can be stably acquired by silhouette contour analysis.
Keywords: human motion analysis, multiview image analysis, real-time vision, vision-based interaction
Which interaction technique works when?: floating palettes, marking menus and toolglasses support different task strategies BIBAKFull-Text 203-208
  Wendy E. Mackay
We conducted an experiment that compared three post-WIMP interaction techniques: floating palettes, marking menus and toolglasses, in a real-world Coloured Petri-Net editor, CPN2000. We created six situations in which users performed identical sets of actions with equally-complex nets, but with different cognitive contexts. We found significant differences in performance and preferences across interaction techniques. When a user is in a "copy" context, floating palettes are more efficient. If the user is problem solving, toolglasses or marking menus are preferred. No single interaction technique is clearly superior: each has strengths in different contexts. Since a single application must support different kinds of cognitive tasks, interaction designers should consider integrating multiple interaction techniques, rather than selecting only one.
Keywords: cognitive context, coloured petri nets, floating palettes, interaction techniques, marking menus, toolglasses
Patterns of eye gaze during rapid serial visual presentation BIBAKFull-Text 209-217
  Oscar de Bruijn; Robert Spence
The technique of Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP), comparable with the riffling of a book's pages to acquire an impression of its contents, has considerable application potential, especially where display space is at a premium. The design of RSVP applications, however, is not straightforward in view of the many, and often conflicting, design decisions that must be taken. Specifically, it is suspected that many of these decisions will impact on the ability of users to effectively perceive the displayed content as far as carrying out a task is concerned. This paper presents an exploratory study in which we investigated the impact of a number of design decisions on users' eye movements. Four RSVP modes were implemented that represent alternative design decisions. Two of these modes were modeled after existing e-commerce applications, and two have been the subject of our ongoing research for some time. For each RSVP mode, a set of images was presented to two participants who were required to respond to the appearance of a pre-viewed target image. In the course of these presentations we recorded the participants' eye movements in order to elicit information concerning potential perceptual difficulties. We propose a novel graphical characterization of RSVP modes, which is appropriate to their correlation with recorded eye gaze patterns, offer an interpretation of the experimental data, and provide a motivation for further research into RSVP.
Keywords: dynamic visual interfaces, rapid serial visual presentation, space-time trade-off, visual information browsing, visual interface design

Focusing attention

Two-handed drawing on augmented desk system BIBAKFull-Text 219-222
  Xinlei Chen; Hideki Koike; Yasuto Nakanishi; Kenji Oka; Yoichi Sato
This paper describes a two-handed drawing tool developed on our augmented desk system. Using our real-time finger tracking method, a user can draw and manipulate objects interactively by his/her own finger/hand. Based on the former work on two-handed interaction, different roles are assigned to each hand. The right hand is used to draw and to manipulate objects. Using gesture recognition, primitive objects can be drawn by users' handwriting. On the other hand, the left hand is used to manipulate menus and to assist the right hand. By closing all left hand fingers, users can initiate the appearance of structural radial menus around their left hands, and can select appropriate items by using a left hand finger. The left hand is also used to assist in the performance of drawing tasks, e.g., specifying the center of a circle or top-left corner of a rectangle, or specifying the object to be copied.
Keywords: augmented reality, computer vision, direct manipulation, finger/hand recognition, gesture recognition, perceptive user interface, two-handed interaction
Using 3D to visualise medical data BIBAKFull-Text 223-226
  Monica Tavanti
Retrieving and managing medical information is a major problem for users, due to the massive and heterogeneous production of available data. One way of handling the complexity of this special information context could be to find alternative ways of structuring medical data. In this paper a database containing medical information about diseases is presented. The database implements a new approach, using a clustered organization of the data, that tries to provide consistency and homogeneity in the information so as to effectively support physicians and experts in the medical field. The database also implements a temporal and dynamic description of diseases, called the "temporal disease simulator," which can easily be visualised through a friendly three-dimensional interface. The paper summarises the specifications of the database and illustrates the design process of the interface for the "temporal disease simulator," describing its main features.
Keywords: 3D models, cognitive artefacts, information visualisation, interface, medical information
Virtual locomotion system for human-scale virtual environments BIBAKFull-Text 227-230
  Laroussi Bouguila; Masahiro Ishii; Makoto Sato
This paper presents a new virtual locomotion interface based on step-in-place action and a smart-turntable system. The interface provides a turntable as walking platform, on top of which users will stand at its center, and facing a large screen, to perform life-like walking actions that steer their navigation through the virtual environment. Steering actions are tracked seamlessly without attachment to the body through a set of pressure sensors embedded within the turntable and a computer vision system. For instance, in place stepping is treated as a gesture indicating the intention to move forward. Rotation about the body's vertical axis is treated as a gesture changing the walking direction. However, as large screens are usually limited in size and do not allow a surrounding projection, a large turning action may put users in a visual-less situation, which hamper considerably the effectiveness of the walking experience. To avoid such case and keep users always provided with sufficient visual feedback, the turntable will passively and smoothly rotate in opposite direction of users' turning. Rotation speed and acceleration of the turntable are well optimized to keep users well balanced and easily withstand the passive rotation. The interface is shown to be easy and simple to use in virtual environments equipped with large screen.
Keywords: human-scale, surrounding projection, turntable, virtual environment, virtual locomotion
Degree-of-interest trees: a component of an attention-reactive user interface BIBAKFull-Text 231-245
  Stuart K. Card; David Nation
This paper proposes Degree-of-Interest trees. These trees use degree-of-interest calculations and focus+context visualization methods, together with bounding constraints, to fit within pre-established bounds. The method is an instance of an emerging "attention-reactive" user interface whose components are designed to snap together in bounded spaces.
Keywords: DOI trees, attention-reactive user interfaces, degree-of-interest trees, fisheye displays, focus+context, hierarchical display, information visualization, tree

Visual querying

A visual data mining environment: metaqueries and association rules BIBAKFull-Text 247-250
  Stephen Kimani; Tiziana Catarci; Giuseppe Santucci
There is a need for an overall framework that can support the entire knowledge discovery process. Of special interest, is the role of visualization in such a framework. This paper focuses on the exploitation of various visual strategies with a view to discovering knowledge through metarules and association rules.
Keywords: association rules, metaqueries, visual interaction, visualization
SQLi: towards an interface description language for relational databases BIBAKFull-Text 251-256
  Hasan M. Jamil; Rong Zhou
The advent of Internet and the increase in non-standard use of databases demand support for interface design primitives for ad hoc and user-friendly interface design. In this paper, we propose an interface description sub-language, called the SQLi, as a non-intrusive extension of SQL to facilitate ad hoc interface generation and data display with user preferred overriding capabilities. In support of our proposed extension and as a demonstration of its functional capabilities we introduce our system called SQL/IDL form generator that can be used as an add-on to any relational system as a query front end. We discuss the salient features of the tool and the SQLi extension through an illustrative example and argue that our proposed extension is adaptive enough to accommodate future changes and needs.
Keywords: GUI, ad hoc interface management, declarative interface design

Visual elements

Visualization techniques for circular tabletop interfaces BIBAKFull-Text 257-265
  Frédéric Vernier; Neal Lesh; Chia Shen
This paper presents visualization and layout schemes developed for a novel circular user interface designed for a round, tabletop display. Since all the displayed items are in a polar coordinate system, many interface and visualization schemes must be revisited to account for this new layout of UI elements. We discuss the direct implications of such a circular interface on document orientation. We describe two types of fisheye deformation of the circular layout and explain how to use them in a multi-person collaborative interface. These two schemes provide a general layout framework for circular interfaces. We have also designed a new visualization technique derived from the particularities of the circular layout we have highlighted. In this technique the user controls the layout of the elements of a hierarchical tree. Our approach is to provide the user rich interaction possibilities to easily and quickly produce a layout comparable to the hyperbolic view developed at Xerox PARC. The visualization work presented in this paper is part of our ongoing Personal Digital Historian (PDH) research project. The overall goal of PDH is to investigate ways to effectively and intuitively organize, navigate, browse, present and visualize digital data in an interactive multi-person conversational setting.
Keywords: circular interface, collaborative interface, fisheye view, tabletop, tree visualization
Scope: providing awareness of multiple notifications at a glance BIBAKFull-Text 267-281
  Maarten van Dantzich; Daniel Robbins; Eric Horvitz; Mary Czerwinski
We describe the design and functionality of the Scope, a glanceable notification summarizer. The Scope is an information visualization designed to unify notifications and minimize distractions. It allows users to remain aware of notifications from multiple sources of information, including e-mail, instant messaging, information alerts, and appointments. The design employs a circular radar-like screen divided into sectors that group different kinds of notifications. The more urgent a notification is, the more centrally it is placed. Visual emphasis and annotation is used to reveal important properties of notifications. Several natural gestures allow users to zoom in on particular regions and to selectively drill down on items. We present key aspects of the Scope design, review the results of an initial user study, and describe the motivation and outcome of an iteration on the visual design.
Keywords: alerting and notification systems, awareness, information visualization, interruptions, notifications, peripheral displays
Mixing icons, geometric shapes and temporal axis to propose a visual tool for querying spatio-temporal databases BIBAKFull-Text 282-289
  Christine Bonhomme; Marie-Aude Aufaure
This paper presents Lvis, a visual query language for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and for spatio-temporal databases. Visual queries are specified by means of a combination of icons. These icons are used to represent both object types and operators. Geometric shapes are used to represent spatial objects and relations among them; Balloons and temporal axis are used to represent temporal criteria. A visual approach has been chosen because it offers numerous advantages for the representation of spatio-temporal queries. Visual representations are in fact well-suited since they easily permit to express the spatial nature of a query. Several research works dealing with this issue have been proposed in the last ten years. Besides, visual querying is a friendly and simple querying mode. It is the reason why it is well-adapted to novice users. The paper introduces the spatio-temporal model of the language. It gives some examples of queries to explain how geometric shapes, icons and temporal axis are combined. Finally, it discusses the main issues tied to the visual, psycho-cognitive and spatio-temporal considerations.
Keywords: geographic information systems, metaphors, spatio-temporal data, visual languages
Navigating Giga-Graphs BIBAKFull-Text 290-299
  James Abello; Jeffrey Korn; Matthias Kreuseler
An effective way to process a graph that does not fit in RAM is to build a hierarchical partition of its set of vertices. This hierarchy induces a partition of the graph edge set. We use this partition to produce a macro view of the graph. A screen embedding of this macro view is a Graph Sketch. We describe the use of Rectangular FishEye Views to provide drill-down navigation of graph sketches at different levels of detail including the graph edges data. A higher level of detail of a sketch focus area is obtained by distorting the lower detail context. Alternative visual representations can be used at different sketch hierarchy levels. We provide two sketch screen embeddings. One is tree-map based and the other is obtained by a special sequence of graph edge contractions. We demonstrate the application of our current Unix/Windows prototype to telecommunication graphs with edge sets ranging from 100 million to 1 billion edges (Giga-Graphs). To our knowledge this is the first time that focus within context techniques have been used successfully for the navigation of external memory graphs.
Keywords: external memory algorithms, fisheye views, graph sketches, hierarchies, massive data sets, visualization

Visual applications

Knowledge-supported graphical illustration of texts BIBAKFull-Text 300-307
  K. Hartmann; S. Schlechtweg; R. Helbing; Th. Strothotte
We introduce a new method to automatically and dynamically illustrate arbitrary texts from a predefined application domain. We demonstrate this method with two experimental systems (Text Illustrator and Agi3le) which are designed to illustrate anatomy textbooks.
   Both systems exploit a symbolic representation of the content of structured geometric models. In addition, the approach taken by the Agi3le-system is based on an ontology providing a formal representation of important concepts within the application domain as well as a thesaurus containing alternative linguistic and visual realizations for entities within the formal domain representation.
   The presented method is text-driven, i.e., an automated analysis of the morphologic, syntactic and semantic structures of noun phrases reveals the key concepts of a text portion to be illustrated. The specific relevance of entities within the formal representation is determined by a spreading activation approach. This allows to derive important parameters for a non-photorealistic rendering process: the selection of suitable geometric models, camera positions and presentation variables for individual geometric objects. Part-whole relations are considered to assign visual representations to elements of the formal domain representation. Presentation variables for objects in the 3D rendering are chosen to reflect the estimated relevance of their denotation.
   As a result, expressive non-photorealistic illustrations which are focussed on the key concepts of individually selected text passages are generated automatically. Finally, we present methods to integrate user interaction within both media, the text and the computer-generated illustration, in order to adjust the presentation to individual information seeking goals.
Keywords: image-text coherence, non-photorealistic rendering, semantic networks, spreading activation, text analysis, text illustration
New directions for the design of virtual reality interfaces to e-commerce sites BIBAKFull-Text 308-315
  Luca Chittaro; Roberto Ranon
Virtual Reality (VR) interfaces to e-commerce sites have recently begun to appear on the Internet, promising to make the e shopping experience more natural, attractive, and fun for customers. Unfortunately, switching to a desktop VR design for an e-commerce site is not trivial and does not guarantee at all that the interface will be effective. In this paper, we first briefly discuss the potential advantages of these interfaces, stressing the need for a better approach to their design. Then, we present the directions we are following to build more usable and effective VR stores, i.e.: (i) reformulating design guidelines from real-world stores in the VR context, (ii) exploiting VR to create user empowerments that meet both customer and merchant needs, and (iii) personalizing the VR store to better reflect customer's taste, preferences, and interests. For each of the three directions, we illustrate and discuss a detailed case study.
Keywords: 3D interfaces, e-commerce, navigation aids, virtual reality
VIP: a visual approach to user authentication BIBAKFull-Text 316-323
  Antonella De Angeli; Mike Coutts; Lynne Coventry; Graham I. Johnson; David Cameron; Martin H. Fischer
This paper addresses knowledge-based authentication systems in self-service technology, presenting the design and evaluation of the Visual Identification Protocol (VIP). The basic idea behind it is to use pictures instead of numbers as a means for user authentication. Three different authentication systems based on images and visual memory were designed and compared with the traditional Personal Identification Number (PIN) approach in a longitudinal study involving 61 users. The experiment addressed performance criteria and subjective evaluation. The study and associated design exploration revealed important knowledge about users, their attitudes towards and behaviour with novel authentication approaches using images. VIP was found to provide a promising and easy-to-use alternative to the PIN. The visual code is easier to remember, preferred by users and potentially more secure than the numeric code. Results also provided guidelines to help designers make the best use of the natural power of visual memory in security solutions.
Keywords: security, usability, user authentication, visual memory

Visual tools

The HuGS platform: a toolkit for interactive optimization BIBAKFull-Text 324-330
  Gunnar W. Klau; Neal Lesh; Joe Marks; Michael Mitzenmacher; Guy T. Schafer
In this paper we develop a generalized approach to visualizing and controlling an optimization process. Our framework, called Human-Guided Search, actively involves people in the process of optimization. We provide simple and general visual metaphors that allow users to focus and constrain the exploration of the search space. We demonstrate that these metaphors apply to a wide variety of problems and optimization algorithms. Our software toolkit supports rapid development of human-guided search systems.
   Our approach addresses many often-neglected aspects of optimization that are critical to providing people with practical solutions to their optimization problems. Users need to understand and trust the generated solutions in order to effectively implement, justify, and modify them. Furthermore, it is often impossible for users to specify, in advance, all appropriate constraints and selection criteria for their problem. Thus, automatic methods can only find solutions that are optimal with regard to an invariably over-simplified problem description. In contrast, human-in-the-loop optimization allows people to find and better understand solutions that reflect their knowledge of real-world constraints.
   Finally, interactive optimization leverages people's abilities in areas in which humans currently outperform computers, such as visual perception, learning from experience, and strategic assessment. Given a good visualization of the problem, people can employ these skills to direct a computer search into the more promising regions of the search space.
   The software we describe is written in Java and is available under a free research license for research or educational purposes.
Keywords: human-computer interaction, optimization, search
Biological storytelling: a software tool for biological information organization based upon narrative structure BIBAKFull-Text 331-341
  Allan Kuchinsky; Kathy Graham; David Moh; Annette Adler; Ketan Babaria; Michael L. Creech
The main task of molecular biologists seeking to understand the molecular basis of disease is identifying and interpreting the relationships of genes, proteins, and pathways in living organisms. While emerging technologies have provided powerful analysis tools to this end, they have also produced an explosion of data, which biologists need to make sense of. We have built software tools to support the synthesis activities of molecular biologists, in particular the activities of organizing, retrieving, using, sharing, and reusing diverse biological information. A key aspect of our approach, based upon the findings of user studies, is the use of narrative structure as a conceptual framework for developing and representing the "story" of how genes, proteins, and other molecules interact in biological processes. Biological stories are represented both textually and graphically within a simple conceptual model of items, collections, and stories.
Keywords: annotation, bioinformatics, computer-supported cooperative work, information visualization


Elucidate: employing information visualisation to aid pedagogy for students BIBAKFull-Text 343-344
  Andrew Hunter; Christopher Exton
Understanding the intricacies behind concurrency within object-oriented programming languages has always been a challenge for undergraduate students. While the lecture is a relatively passive learning experience for the student, the use of software visualisation offers the chance to examine the concepts covered in the lecture in an interactive, visual environment. Students can add further dimensions and greater depth to their understanding previously hindered by the pedagogy of this passive environment. Elucidate makes use of the JDI architecture in the Java language to create its own environment that allows students to execute any program within it. Elucidate utilises several information workspaces, each presenting a different perspective about the information, thus facilitating a students ability to employ it in a manner that best allows them to construct their own understanding. Students are able to navigate around multiple views, and through various levels of abstraction, revealing the inner workings and sequence of events in what would otherwise be a black-box program.
Keywords: concurrency, tools, visualisation
Modeling biological reactivity: statecharts vs. Boolean logic BIBAKFull-Text 345-353
  Naaman Kam; Irun R. Cohen; David Harel
Remarkable progress in various fields of biology is leading in the direction of a complete map of the building blocks of biological systems. There is broad agreement among researchers that 21st century biology will focus on attempting to understand how component parts collaborate to create a whole. It is also well agreed that this transition of biology from identifying the building blocks (analysis) to integrating the parts into a whole (synthesis) should rely on the language of mathematics. In a recent publication, we described the results of a first attempt at confronting the above challenge using the visual formalism of statecharts. We presented a detailed model for T cell activation using statecharts within the general framework of object-oriented modeling. In this work, we compare the statechart-based modeling approach to a Boolean formalism presented by Thomas & D'Ari. This comparison was done by taking a model for T cell activation and anergy, which was constructed by Kaufman et al. using such a Boolean formalism, and translating it into the language of statecharts. Comparing these two representations of the same phenomena allows us to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each modeling approach. We believe that the results of this work, together with the results of our previous modeling work on T cell activation, should encourage the use of visual formalisms such as statecharts for modeling complex biological systems.
   A full version of this paper appeared in the proceedings of the Second International Conference on Systems Biology, Pasadena, CA, USA, 2001 [9].
Keywords: immunology, object oriented modeling, statecharts
Assessment of cost/benefit of interfaces evaluation techniques BIBAKFull-Text 355-356
  Eliane Regina de Almeida Valiati; Marcelo Soares Pimenta
Literature presents a considerable number of techniques that may be used in the process of evaluation of interfaces. Each technique has its own features, involves the employment of different resources, and allows the obtainment of distinct results depending on the way it is conducted. The present article aims at assessing, by means of a set of experiments, the costs and benefits found specifically in the application of three techniques: heuristic evaluation, user tests, and recommendation conformity inspection.
Keywords: cost/benefit, evaluation techniques, usability
Making agents gaze naturally -- does it work? BIBAKFull-Text 357-358
  Ivo van Es; Dirk Heylen; Betsy van Dijk; Anton Nijholt
We investigated the effects of varying eye gaze behavior of an embodied conversational agent on the quality of human-agent dialogues. In an experiment we compared three versions of an agent: one with gaze behavior that is typically found to occur in human-human dialogues, one with gaze that is fixed most of the time, and a third version with random gaze behavior. The versions were found to yield significant differences in efficiency of the dialogues and in user satisfaction, amongst others.
Keywords: conversational agents, gaze, non-verbal communication
A visual query language for large spatial databases BIBAKFull-Text 359-360
  Andrew J. Morris; Alia I. Abdelmoty; Baher A. El-Geresy
In this paper a visual approach to querying in large spatial databases is presented. A diagrammatic technique utilising a data flow metaphor is used to express different kinds of spatial and non-spatial constraints. Basic filters are designed to represent the various types of queries in such systems. Icons for different types of spatial relations are used to denote the filters. Different granularities of the relations are presented in a hierarchical fashion when selecting the spatial constraints. Spatial joins and composite spatial and non-spatial constraints are represented consistently in the language.
Keywords: spatial databases, visual query languages
Working together -- a VR based approach for cooperative digital design review BIBAKFull-Text 361-362
  Christian Knöpfle
In this paper we will present an approach how to support collaborative work between several experts in a design review based on CAD data. The design review is an important part of the design process of a new product, because its objective is to ensure the quality of the final product. During a design review several experts discuss the current state of the work, trying to locate errors in the design, develop improvements or find solutions for unsolved problems. It is evident that the quality of the achieved results of such a review is directly linked to the quality of the collaboration between the involved experts. Apart from social issues, efficient collaboration is heavily influenced by technical aspects, e.g. which kind of media is used. Since pure digital data representations of the design is commonplace today, new metaphors have to be developed which allow a group of people to work together simultaneously and intuitively on the same data model.
   In this paper we will introduce a virtual reality based approach to collaborative working in a design review scenario. Our work is based on a pen and paper paradigm, which allows people to sketch and draw their ideas as well as annotations on the digital model in the same way they would do it using a pen and a piece of paper. Furthermore we will show how private spaces can be realized and how the metaphor can be integrated in an overall framework, which is usable for digital design reviews.
Keywords: VR, collaboration, design review, interaction, user interface
A visual interface for multi-person exploration of personal databases BIBAKFull-Text 363-364
  Chia Shen; Frederic Vernier; Neal Lesh
The Personal Digital Historian (PDH) is an ongoing research project aimed at allowing small groups of people co-present to casually browse, embellish, and explore large collections of their personal data, such as pictures, video, or more business-related items such as spreadsheets or PowerPoint slides. In this interactive poster, we demonstrate our initial prototype system which is designed for a tabletop display. The interface allows people to organize their images along the four questions essential to storytelling: who?, when?, where?, and what? Users are provided with a wide variety of flexible interaction methods, including region of interest query specification with in-place freeform stroke input, image-based book marking, suggestion generation via automatic query relaxation, and output summarization. With this interface, the users can enjoy their conversation while having the photos at their fingertips, rather than being distracted by the effort of formulating queries.
Keywords: multi-person interactive visual interface, tabletop display
An integrated approach to database visualization BIBAKFull-Text 365-366
  Dennis P. Groth; Edward L. Robertson
We present an architecture that enables information visualization activities within a database environment. Our approach presents an abstraction of this transformation process, which we call mapping. The implementation of the mapping process is controlled by the end-user through a Map, which can be used to add order and scale to data.
Keywords: architectures, database visualization, information interfaces and presentation
Visual interaction design for tools to think with: interactive systems for designing linear information BIBAKFull-Text 367-371
  Yasuhiro Yamamoto; Kumiyo Nakakoji; Atsushi Aoki
We have developed a series of tools, which use spatial positioning of objects as a means of externalizations in designing linear information. They include a tool for collage-style writing, a tool for notes summarization, a tool for multimedia data analysis, and a tool for movie editing. With these tools, linear information design is viewed as a concurrent process of framing parts and determining the order of the parts. In designing these tools, visual interaction design has been a center of our project. Our design priority has been put in minimizing the user's cognitive load in creating and modifying parts in a space, and manipulating them in the space. This paper first presents a brief philosophy underneath the system development, and describes interaction techniques used in the tools, such as how a user distinguishes objects positioned in the space, how a user resizes the space by dragging objects toward one of its edges, and how a user sees a trajectory of the objects the user is moving in the space.
Keywords: cognitive models, external representations, spatial positioning, the ART (amplifying representational talkback) principle, visual interaction design
On evaluating information visualization techniques BIBAKFull-Text 373-374
  Carla M. D. S. Freitas; Paulo R. G. Luzzardi; Ricardo A. Cava; Marco Winckler; Marcelo S. Pimenta; Luciana P. Nedel
Evaluating user interfaces is usually accomplished to detect design problems in layout and interaction. One possible way to evaluate image quality in computer graphics is visual inspection by experts. Information visualization techniques are usually presented showing their use in experimental situations, employing some kind of analysis. Nevertheless, few works have specifically addressed the evaluation of such techniques. This work reports our results towards the definition of criteria for evaluating information visualization techniques, addressing the evaluation of visual representation and interaction mechanisms as a first step.
Keywords: evaluation criteria, information visualization techniques
Expressiveness of the data flow and data state models in visualization systems BIBAFull-Text 375-378
  Ed H. Chi
Visualization can be viewed as a process that transforms raw data (value) into views. There has been two major category of data process models that have been proposed to model the visualization transformation process. This paper seeks to compare the Data Flow Models and the Data State Models. Specifically, it proves that, in terms of expressiveness, anything that can represented using the Data Flow Model can also be represented using the Data State Model, and vice versa.