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Interactive Visualization of Structured Deliberations

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000235480D
Publication Date: 2014-Mar-04
Document File: 3 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method to use a compact sunburst visualization with a structured deliberation system in order to provide an "at a glance" overview of the entire deliberation and a sense of relative activity within it. The visualization also serves as the "map" on which the locations of items that correspond to search results and other criteria are depicted.

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Interactive Visualization of Structured Deliberations

Large electronic discussions can involve hundreds of postings, which makes obtaining

a summary or overview of the discussion difficult to obtain . While searches can provide lists of items that match a specific text string, topic, author, or other criteria (individually or in combination), it is hard to get a sense of where those items are in the context of the overall discussion or deliberation. In particular, with regard to deliberations meant

to propose alternatives, discuss the tradeoffs with each, and ultimately reach a decision, it is useful to see the activity and levels of support in favor or against each alternative.

One structured deliberation scheme, which includes questions, proposed answers, pros and cons for each, and the ability to comment on any item, uses a visualization method. It could also be applied with minor modification to other structures and deliberation schemes. The basic sunburst visualization is a known way of depicting hierarchical information.

The combination of the sunburst visualization with a structured deliberation system , and then its uses to show a variety of factors (e.g., dynamic search results, faceted results for exploration, etc.), initiate actions related to the deliberation, and present as a small, compact icon, is novel and non-obvious.

The novel method introduces a compact, dynamic, interactive, and navigable iconic representation of a deliberation that provides an "at a glance" overview of the entire deliberation and a sense of relative activity within it. The visualization also serves as the "map" on which the locations of items that correspond to search results and other criteria are depicted.

User gestures, such as mouse-hovering, enable the user to see more information about each of the items depicted by the visualization and allow the user to navigate to the items or perform other functions.

The method builds on a sunburst visualization scheme , combines that with information on the underlying structure of a deliberation, as represented in a current system, and incorporates search functionality and interactive capabilities. With this depiction (Figure


1), the central circle represents the question. The blue segments around it represent proposed solutions to the question. The segments in the outer circle represent arguments in favor (pro) or against (con) each proposal. In the current scheme, slices continue to "build" to six levels, and then become narrower as more are added .

Figure 1: Sunburst visualization scheme

1


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Additional items (e.g., dots on a segment or an additional segment type ) can be used to depict o...