Project : in-situ
The InfoVis Toolkit
Participant : Jean-Daniel Fekete.
The InfoVis Toolkit is a Interactive Graphics Toolkit written in Java to ease the development of Information Visualization applications and components.
The main characteristics of the InfoVis Toolkit are:
- Unified data structure
The base data structure is a table of columns. Columns contain objects of homogeneous types, such as integers or strings. Trees and Graphs are derived from Tables.
- Small memory footprint
Using homogeneous columns instead of compound types dramatically improves the memory required to store large tables, trees or graphs, and in general the time to manage them.
- Unified set of interactive components
Interactive filtering (a.k.a. dynamic queries) can be performed with the same control objects and components regardless of the data structure, simplifying the reuse of existing components and the design of generic ones.
the InfoVis Toolkit can use accelerated graphics provided by Agile2D( http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/agile2d), an implementation of Java2D based on the OpenGL API for hardware accelerated graphics . On machine with hardware acceleration, some visualizations redisplay 100 times faster than with the standard Java2D implementation.
the InfoVis Toolkit is meant to incorporate new information visualization techniques and is distributed with the full source and a very liberal license. It can be used for student projects, research projects or commercial products.
The InfoVis Toolkit, as of version 0.5, implements seven (7) types of visualization (Fig. 4): Time Series and Scatter Plots for tables, Node-Link diagrams, Icicle trees and Treemaps for trees, Adjacency Matrices and Node-Link diagrams for graphs.
The toolkit is used for teaching Information Visualization (DEA I3 and DESS SCHM and II at University of Paris-Sud, Infovis course at Virginia Tech). It is also used in several contracts of the group such as OADymPPaC and Micromegas (see section 7.4).