Quantum Web Fields And Molecular Meanderings
Visualising Web Visitations

Geoff Ellis
Huddersfield University, UK.


Alan Dix
Lancaster University, UK

AVI'2004, Advanced Visual Interfaces 2004, 25-28 May 2004, Gallipoli (Lecce), ITALY.


This paper describes two visualisation algorithms that give an impression of current activity on a web site. Both focus on giving a sense of the trail of individual visitors within the web space and showing their navigation paths. Past web activity is used to produce a spatial mapping of pages, which results in highly traversed page links lying close together in the 2D visualisation space. Pages visited by typical individual visitors thus form intelligible paths when plotted in the visualisation space. Both techniques attempt to enhance user awareness and experience, but they differ in their balance between utility and aesthetics.

keywords: web visualisation, awareness, self-organising map

Full reference:
G. Ellis and A. Dix(2004). Quantum Web Fields And Molecular Meanderings - Visualising Web Visitations. Proceedings of Advanced Visual Interfaces ­ AVI2004, M. F. Costabile (ed.), Gallipoli (Lecce), Italy, ACM Press. pp. 197-200.
Download draft paper (PDF, 114K)
see companion paper Visualising Web Visitations: a probabilistic approach. at IV04
related work on visualisation at: http://www.hcibook.com/alan/topics/vis/


1. Introduction
In which we reflect on the way we get a sense of human activity in day-to-day life and introduce the issue of awareness of human presence on the web.
2. Background and related areas
In which we review some related literature including the system visualising real footsteps that inspired the web visualisations in this paper
3. Visualising visitations
In which we propose two new visualisations of current web visitation that display in very different ways the paths that visitors are taking through the site.
4. Mechanisms
In which we explain the algorithms: using a ‘comes nextness’ matrix and log sampling.
5. Discussion and future work
In which we contrast the two visualisations and discuss potential future directions.


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Figure 1. The Mood Floor
made by sons of sensor as part of
the scrap heap (computing) challenge

Figure 2. Molecular Meanderer

Figure 3. Web fields for sample pages

Figure 4. Path through the web net

Figure 5. Stages of visualisation


Alan Dix 24/3/2004