Cogsci 220: Information Visualization (Winter 2021)

Next Step in Selecting Topics and Group: Dynamic Personal Information Spaces Project Topics

The specifics of your project will evolve over the quarter but it is important to get started as soon as possible. A quarter is a really short time period. As is common in research, you often need to commit to a project idea before it is fully elaborated. Groups need to start to form as early as possible. Group membership and project topic selection absolutely must be completed by week four. Establishing groups and decidiing on a topic before week four is much better.

All projects must explore some aspect of the notion of a dynamic graphical personal information space as discussed in the NSF proposal. One way of thinking about this space is as a separate visual space composed of rule-governed entities that are derived from and linked to existing information and applications. In our research group meetings we sometimes characterize the space as one that abstracts and removes the messiness of the web and existing applications to better enable integration and personalization of information. In addition, we argue that this space has potential to provide a new form of interoperability between applications. Normally one thinks of needing to change applications to make them interoperable. There are, of course, many factors that make that difficult. They range from access to source code to commercial competitiveness factors that often result in walled gardens. The fundamental idea is to abstract aspects of existing information and reify them in a separate linked space as entities that operate according to multiple composable and tailorable context-sensitive rule sets that determine how they look, behave, and interact. This separate space can not only provide mechanisms for integration and personalization of information but also a new form of interoperability at the level of these new information entities rather than necessitating changes to applications. That is to say some of the benefits of application interoperablity can result from designing rules in the parallel linked information space that operate in ways that help coordinate information between applications.

As part of this step in selecting a topic and group, we will first discuss together and then break into groups to further discuss and brainstorm possible project. Here are possible project topics to prime brainstorming: