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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Visualization Exploration and Encapsulation via a Spreadsheet-like Interface


Exploring complex, very large data sets requires interfaces to present and navigate through the visualization of the data. Two types of audience benefit from such coherent organization and representation: first, the user of the visualization system can examine and evaluate their data more efficiently; second, collaborators or reviewers can quickly understand and extend the visualization. The needs of these two groups are addressed by the spreadsheet-like interface described here. The interface represents a 2-dimensional window into a multi-dimensional visualization parameter space. Data is explored by navigating this space via the interface. The visualization space is presented to the user in a manner that clearly identifies which parameters correspond to which visualized result. Operations defined on this space can be applied which generate new parameters or results. Combined with a general purpose interpreter, these functions can be utilized to quickly extract desired results. Finally, by encapsulating the visualization process, redundant exploration is eliminated and collaboration is facilitated. The efficacy of this novel interface is demonstrated through examples using a variety of data sets in different domains

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