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Method to Expand and Collapse Hierarchical Data Structures.

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000237530D
Publication Date: 2014-Jun-20
Document File: 7 page(s) / 339K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that leverages gesture interaction to enable a user to efficiently expand and collapse hierarchical data structures.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

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Method to Expand and Collapse Hierarchical Data Structures.

Navigating a hierarchical data structure in a standard tree view is often a tedious process, as the user must expand/collapse multiple layers of nested nodes.

Known solutions include:

A tree view with twistie controls for expanding/collapsing nested nodes to navigate the hierarchical data structure
A multi-column display of a hierarchical data structure in a user interface (UI) that shows one nested level of the hierarchical

  data structure per column
A marking menu that allows a user to perform a menu selection by either popping-up a radial (or pie) menu or by making a straight mark in the direction of the desired menu item without popping-up the menu

None of these solutions provides a streamlined, easy-to-use process for accessing hierarchical data.

A gesture-based solution is needed to simplify the navigation of expanding/collapsing nested nodes in a hierarchical data structure.

The novel contribution is a method that leverages gesture interaction to efficiently expand and collapse hierarchical data structures . The core functions provided by this method are:

1. Use a finger to tap-hold to show all children of a chosen tree node. The display of child nodes is alternated in horizontal or vertical orientation in a fixed overlay window as users continuously slide through the tree structure to further auto expand/collapse tree nodes; thus, the user's sliding motion is strictly along either x-axis or y-axis, and always alternating between nested levels).

2. When a desire node/level is visible, the user lifts up the finger to complete the tap-hold gesture and select the desired node/level. Alternatively, the user can move the finger outside the tree structure and then lift up the finger to cancel the action.

3. Users can choose to use the "sticky" mode, instead of a continuous sliding gesture, to navigate the hierarchical data structure; users lift up the finger when sliding through the child nodes at each nested level

Instead of discrete expand/collapse, this method provides a continuous (either contiguous or segmented gesture) user gesture. In
a
tree view where nested levels are alternately rendered in x-axis and y-axis, a sliding gesture to navigate child nodes at each level is strictly along either x-axis or y-axis, and always alternating between nested levels. The expert users can simply gesture the path

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through the hierarchical data structure to reach the desired node/level, without the need to display the hierarchical data structure during the navigation. This approach works well for small screen displays, such as smart phones and tablets. The multi-touch gesture allows users to use two fingers to simultaneously navigate through two s...