Architectures to make Simple Visualisations using Simple Systems

Alan Dix

aQtive and Lancaster University

Russell Beale

aQtive and University of Birmingham

Andy Wood


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Paper presented at AVI'2000 - Advanced Visual Interfaces, Palermo, Italy. May 23-26, 2000

View full paper (PDF,585K) or slides (PPT,851K).

Full reference:

A. Dix, R. Beale and A. Wood (2000). Architectures to make Simple Visualisations using Simple Systems. Proceedings of Advanced Visual Intervaces - AVI2000, ACM Press, pp. 51-60.

URL for related work:


In previous work, the first author argued for simple lightweight visualisations. These are surprisingly complex to produce due to the need for infrastructure to read files, etc. onCue, a desktop 'agent', aids the rapid production of such visualisations and their integration with desktop and Internet applications. Two examples are used dancing histograms for 2D tables and pieTrees for hierarchical numeric data. A major focus is the importance of architecture, both that of onCue itself and the underlying component infrastructure on which it is built - separation of concerns, mixed initiative computation and plug-and-play components lead to easily produced and easily used systems.

keywords: interactive visualisation, software architecture, hierarchical data, artificial intelligence, Internet-desktop integration

Alan Dix 1/3/2000