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Proceedings Paper

Visualising large hierarchies with Flextree
Author(s): Hongzhi Song; Edwin P. Curran; Roy Sterritt
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Paper Abstract

One of the main tasks in Information Visualisation research is creating visual tools to facilitate human understanding of large and complex information spaces. Hierarchies, being a good mechanism in organising such information, are ubiquitous. Although much research effort has been spent on finding useful representations for hierarchies, visualising large hierarchies is still a difficult topic. One of the difficulties is how to show both tructure and node content information in one view. Another is how to achieve multiple foci in a focus+context visualisation. This paper describes a novel hierarchy visualisation technique called FlexTree to address these problems. It contains some important features that have not been exploited so far. In this visualisation, a profile or contour unique to the hierarchy being visualised can be gained in a histogram-like layout. A normalised view of a common attribute of all nodes can be acquired, and selection of this attribute is controllable by the user. Multiple foci are consistently accessible within a global context through interaction. Furthermore it can handle a large hierarchy that contains several thousand nodes in a PC environment. In addition results from an informal evaluation are also presented.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 June 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5009, Visualization and Data Analysis 2003, (9 June 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.473916
Show Author Affiliations
Hongzhi Song, Univ. of Ulster at Jordanstown (United Kingdom)
Edwin P. Curran, Univ. of Ulster at Jordanstown (United Kingdom)
Roy Sterritt, Univ. of Ulster at Jordanstown (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5009:
Visualization and Data Analysis 2003
Robert F. Erbacher; Philip C. Chen; Jonathan C. Roberts; Matti T. Groehn; Katy Boerner, Editor(s)

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