Browse Prior Art Database

User Interface for a Spreadsheet Program

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118586D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 57K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Amano, T: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

Disclosed is a user interface that shows logical dependencies among cells in a spreadsheet. Spreadsheet programs are useful tools for trial-and-error simulation in planning tasks such as budget allocation. The disclosed user interface makes it easy for users to understand the simulation model involved in the spreadsheet.

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User Interface for a Spreadsheet Program

      Disclosed is a user interface that shows logical dependencies
among cells in a spreadsheet.  Spreadsheet programs are useful tools
for trial-and-error simulation in planning tasks such as budget
allocation.  The disclosed user interface makes it easy for users to
understand the simulation model involved in the spreadsheet.

      A simulation model is represented as a set of dependencies
among cells in a spreadsheet.  The dependencies can be expressed by a
graph (sets of nodes and arcs) on a displayed spreadsheet.  Several
representations based on different viewpoints can be used to show the
dependencies.
  1.  Representation based on strength of dependence
        A spreadsheet contains an implicit hierarchical
       structure such that a resultant cell is calculated
       from some intermediate cells, which are also calculated
       from other intermediate cells or input cells.  "Strength
       of dependence" is defined by the length of the route
       in the hierarchical tree.  Thus, cells can be classified
       into several layers according to the strength of
       dependence between them and their resultant nodes.  The
       information provided by the layered cell set is useful for
       understanding the structure of the dependencies.  In the
       example shown in the Figure, the circled cells belong to
       the same...