"SmartDoc: True Interactive Visualization for the Web"

Tutorial/lecture for SIKS-Ph.D.-students and others interested in the topic

by Professor Mikael Jern, ITN, Linkoping University, Sweden .

Date: Tuesday, May 8, 2001
Time: 10.00-12.00 hrs
Location: Free University of Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081.
Building of Mathematics and Computer Science Room: R.2.40
Host: prof.dr. H. van Vliet (VU)


Participation is free for academic participants; however, registration is obliged. Please contact mrs. Ilse Thomson, email: ilse@few.vu.nl
Applications to participate will be honoured in a first-come first-serve manner. Please register before May 1, 2001.
For non-academic participants the fee is f150,-, which has to be paid at the start of the tutorial in Amsterdam. Fore remaining questions, please contact the coordinator of SIKS (office@siks.nl)

As the tutorial is part of the "advanced components stage" of SIKS' educational program, all SIKS- Ph.D- students are strongly encouraged to participate.

Abstract: The contents in Web documents are normally restricted to static items such as text, imagery and animations. "SmartDoc" has developed "Collaboratories" (Web application components) that incorporate not only text but also the entire interactive data visualisation and navigation process into a Web document, allowing users and project teams to collaborate and share data, visualization parameters, information and insight while distributed over standard or mobile Internet, using intuitive visual navigation techniques. In other words, publishing a text document on the Web is only half the story. The other half is enabling others to interact with the published result and gain insight into context that's meaningful.

"SmartDoc" is a research project jointly funded by the EC Commission (under the Key Action Line III.4.2 "Information Visualisation") and focuses on embedded Collaboratories that give the reader full access to any discovery and insight, data navigation tools and underlying data. Visual data navigation is provided through interactive 2D and 3D Web-based visualisation components with a small footprint. The "discovery" is described in one or several snapshots providing the history of the visualisation process. These snapshots are a copy of the component's state at the time when the snapshot was taken and allow the user to further interact from the state when the visualisation was snapped. They can be included as an image for printing the document. The underlying data or spreadsheet is either embedded in the document or accessed through a hyperlink. "What are users looking for?" is the key question guiding a SmartDoc process.

The Collaboratories are based on a multi-layer visualisation component architecture with a small footprint suitable for Web distribution and therefore scalable and customisable to any level of expertise. A "SmartViewer" client-side plug-in, responsible for interactivity and graphics rendering, has been developed and will be distributed as "freeware" to allow free distribution of a SmartDoc on the network. Integration and assessment of application component sharing through Web documents and a network infrastructure based on the component industry standards providing real-time data interactivity, reducing the load on the network and with zero administration client deployment.

SmartDoc scales to accommodate massive amounts of data presented in a visual format, allows full real-time interaction with on-screen presentations, and gives users an unprecedented level of high-quality visual presentation. Our integration of visualisation and data analysis through an atomic component architecture combined with special data reduction components and fast scene tree rendering by the SmartViewer enables the visual data navigation of large multidimensional data sets.

This lecture will show you how to deliver interactive visual data navigation in an electronic document through the Web based on Microsoft's COM industry standard. How you develop and deploy solutions that provide rich data analysis and 3D visualization capabilities. How you can deploy electronic documents with richer visual user interfaces. The proposed solution is the SmartDoc, where an analytical event comes to life in the document. This may be the starting point for new visual solutions to problems that have proved very difficult to communicate.

About the lecturer

Prof Jern worked during 1970-1976 with Professor Hertz at the University of Lund (Sweden). Together they invented the Color Graphics System based on the first ink jet plotter for raster based visualization software in the world. The first high-resolution colour images were produced in 1972 using pioneer raster technique. In 1980, he founded UNIRAS to address the industry with general-purpose raster graphics software. UNIRAS became a leading supplier of Visual Data Analysis and Presentation graphics software for scientists and engineers. Prof Jern served UNIRAS as the Vice President of Technology since its start. In 1993, Advanced Visual Systems (AVS), a leading 3D visualization company, acquired UNIRAS. He has remained in the merged company serving in leading technology positions.

Since 1997, Prof Jern is managing several large EC projects in the domain of visualization. These projects have developed innovative Web-based visualization technology based on both VRML and downloadable Web components. His recent areas of research interest include Information Visualization, Medical Imaging and 3D collaborative visualization on the Web and particular the use of visualization component technology within the industrial environment. His last awarded EC project starts May 2001 and is called "SmartDoc".

Prof Jern has participated in numerous graphics standard committees and presented papers at international meetings and conferences. He has published more than 150 technical papers and several books in visual computing and visualization application areas. At SIGGRAPH 93, he was elected "pioneer of computer graphics". In Sept 1999, he was appointed Professor at Linkoping University, Sweden.