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The ISI Grapher: A Portable Tool far Displaying Graphs Pictorially

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000128680D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Dec-31
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Sep-16
Document File: 13 page(s) / 46K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Gabriel Robins: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The advent of inexpensive personal workstations with high-resolution displays has helped to drastically increase end-user productivity. However, the same technology has also served to highlight the deficiencies inherent in current pieces of software and existing user-interfaces. A small set of concepts (e.g. windows, menus, icons, etc.) has established itself as a good mode! for user-interface design. We propose an important addition to this collection, namely the concept of a "grapher"; that is, the ability to interactively display and manipulate arbitrary directed graphs. We illustrate the usefulness of this idea, develop a practical linear-time algorithm for laying out graphs, and describe our implementation of a prototype, the ISI Grapher.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

The ISI Grapher: A Portable Tool far Displaying Graphs Pictorially

Gabriel Robins

ISI Reprint Series ISIIRS-87-196 September 1987 University of Southern California

Reprinted from the Proceedings of Symboliikka '87, held in Helsinki, Finland, on August 17-18, 1987. INFORMATION SCIENCES INSTITUTE 213/822-1511 .1 At= 4676 Admiralty Way/Marina del Rey/California 90292-6695 This research is supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under Contract No. MDA903-81-C-0335. Views and conclusions contained in this report are the authors' and should not be interpreted as representing the official opinion or policy of DARPA, the U.S. Government, or any person or agency connected with them.

lSl Reprint Series This report is one in a series of reprints of articles and papers written by ISI research staff and published in professional journals and conference proceedings. For a complete list of ISI reports, write to

Document Distribution USC/Information Sciences Institute

4676 Admiralty Way Marina del Rey, CA 90292-6695 USA The ISI Grapher: a Portable Tool for Displaying Graphs Pictorially

Gabriel Robins Intelligent Systems Division

Information Sciences Institute 4676 Admiralty Way Marina Del Rey, Ca, 90292-6695, U.S.A. gabrielawaza.isi.edu

Abstract

The advent of inexpensive personal workstations with high-resolution displays has helped to drastically increase end-user productivity. However, the same technology has also served to highlight the deficiencies inherent in current pieces of software and existing user-interfaces. A small set of concepts (e.g. windows, menus, icons, etc.) has established itself as a good mode! for user-interface design. We propose an important addition to this collection, namely the concept of a "grapher"; that is, the ability to interactively display and manipulate arbitrary directed graphs. We illustrate the usefulness of this idea, develop a practical linear-time algorithm for laying out graphs, and describe our implementation of a prototype, the ISI Grapher.

Keywords: user-interfaces, intelligent systems, graphs, graph algorithms, layout algorithms, artificial intelligence tools.

1. Introduction

The advent of inexpensive personal workstations with high-resolution displays, fast processors, and large memories has helped to drastically increase end-user productivity. However, the same technology has also served to highlight the deficiencies inherent in current pieces of

University of Southern California Page 1 Dec 31, 1987

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The ISI Grapher: A Portable Tool far Displaying Graphs Pictorially

software and existing user-interfaces. In particular, a good user interface is now considered to be singularly important in determining the usefulness and success of many kinds of systems. Considerable emphasis has been placed on the uniformity, universality, and consistency of user interface design IKaczmarek, Mark, and Wilczynski].

A small...