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Caleydoplex- Information Exploration in Teams
Critical decisions involving a lot of data are rarely made by a single person, but are rather discussed and evaluated by a team of experts. Examples are doctors deciding for treatment of severe illness, emergency services having to react to ongoing crises, or engineers collaborating to make technical decisions concerning expensive products. These activities can be assisted by information visualization tools. However, traditional information visualization rarely considers the collaborative nature of data analysis tasks. The foundation of our research proposal is the extension of a multiple view visualization system to a multi-display environment. Multiple view visualization shows data in different representations and thereby accommodates for different knowledge backgrounds and user preferences. Multi-display environments turn unused wall and table spaces into interactive surfaces using off-the-shelf projection technology and integrate private workstations smoothly into this shared interactive workspace. Our research aim is the design and creation of a co-located collaborative information visualization workspace dealing with two principal challenges: display space management and collaborative interaction techniques. Intelligent display space management adopts information visualizations and placement of views automatically to the physical display properties and supports the users interacting with the environment. Combined with visual linking of related data entities distributed across the environment, it will help to establish a common knowledge ground. Collaborative interaction techniques are required to organize such a rich, but potentially complex environment. We will investigate high-level activity support for typical tasks in shared information workspaces and how users can maintain awareness of each other’s activities. The proposed research benefits from two ongoing projects at Graz University of Technology: Deskotheque delivers the basic technology necessary for collaborative work in multi-display environments, while Caleydo, a visualization project from the biomedical domain, provides an excellent use case, including the necessary experts willing to collaborate in studies. Using these frameworks, we plan to conduct several usability studies, with prototypes of different levels of sophistication. This research is part of the project Caleydo.