Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Inform. Michael Burch
Email: michael.burch@visus.uni-stuttgart.de

VISUS - Institut für Visualisierung und Interaktive Systeme - Stuttgart


Indented Pixel Tree Browser for Exploring Huge Hierarchies

Paper pdf-Version
Graphical User Interface of the Indented Pixel Tree Browser

Graphical User Interface of the Indented Pixel Tree Browser

The Indented Pixel Tree Browser is based on the idea of the Indented Pixel Tree Plots. Hierarchical structures are oftentimes very huge containing several millions of hierarchically organized elements. The visualization of such a structure is difficult and an interactive exploration is needed to uncover interesting insights in the data set.

In this research, we exploit the concept of indentation to visually encode hierarchical structures. The great benefit of this approach is that very little ink is used to display the outline and hence, the structure of a hierarchy. Color coding may be used to enhance the visual perception and to produce aesthetically pleasing diagrams. Another benefit is the fact that such an indented plot can be scaled down to pixel-based images but the structure still remains visible and clear to the viewer which is illustrated by applying the technique to the NCBI taxonomy - a hierarchical organization of the species living on earth.

The interactive browsing tool can be used to explore different subtrees side-by-side, to annotate interesting parts, to filter and aggregate, and finally to understand the hierarchical data. The tool was implemented by student Hansjörg Schmauder und was implemented in C#. It is very easy to work with the tool and we are currently working for also using it on high-resolution displays (powerwall).

If you are interested in the tool please write an email to Michael Burch and read our paper presented at the International Symposium on Visual Computing 2011 in Las Vegas.