Our group does research in the following five areas, ranging from basic research to application development.
|We are investigating novel ways of exploring information.
These include new types of visualizations based on 3D
graphics, animation, distortion and other types of
techniques. We are also working on
enabling the user to interact with visualizations,
manipulate them, change views, make queries,
aggregate data, and perform other information-extraction
operations. The interaction techniques are based on the
broader notion of "physicalization" of abstract spaces.
Details about the essence of this type of research are
provided with the description of the individual prototypes
we have developed: SDM,
VQE and solarPlots.
|We design systems that help users efficiently create
visualizations that support their tasks. To do this
we research the variety of factors that contribute
to the expressiveness and effectiveness of
visualizations and formalize this knowledge to
enable automated design. In this area we have
developed three systems that work together to
provide expertise for end users: SAGE,
which is an
expert system specialized in graphic design, SageBrush,
which is an interface for sketching visualizations,
and SageBook, which is a browsable and searchable
collection of visualizations that can serve as models
or be adapted to the specific needs of the user.
We apply the principles of communication to develop new
methods for automated generation of multimedia presentations.
Our focus is on natural language and information graphics
explanations of quantitative and relational domains. A
distinguishing feature of our approach is the principled
use of intentions in planning the presentation and realizing
the plan in both text and graphics. We are developing
the AutoBrief system,
which is a generic multimedia generation
system, and using it for explanation of problems and causal
relations in the domain of transportation scheduling.
We develop data exploration environments where users
directly perceive and act upon information. For several
years we have been collaborating with MAYA Design Group
on Visage - a prototype
environment, which takes a
radically "information-centric" user interface approach.
Visage provides techniques for locating, selecting,
visualizing, manipulating, analyzing and communicating
information. Visage is intended to serve as a common interface
to a variety of applications providing specialized services
to the user. A distinct part of Visage is
VQE - a tool
for visually querying complex data bases and supporting
such operations as dynamic aggregation and computing
We want the concepts that we develop in our research to be viable and able to endure the tests of real life. Therefore, we engage in application development where we collaborate with users and demonstrate how they can perform their tasks more efficiently by using adequate visualization tools. Our first attempt at building an interface to an application system was the integration of Visage, Sage, and Autobrief into a single coherent interface of an automated reactive scheduling system (see details).