Information Visualization: Changing the Balance of Power

Tuesday, April 18, 2000 - 9:15am - 9:40am
Keller 3-180
Lucy Nowell (Pacific Northwest National Laboratories)
Traditional information retrieval systems require users to develop mental models of how the information space is organized and how searches are performed. Power lies with the system, and users struggle for understanding, let alone control. To get information from the system, users must construct magical incantations (better known as queries) that elicit the desired content from the retrieval system. Information visualization systems enable users to take advantage of the human perceptual system to build understanding of the information space, shifting the balance of power. At their best, information visualization systems support exploration and discovery, as well as formation and testing of hypotheses about the collection.

The InfoViz team at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory* has developed a variety of tools for the synthesis, analysis, and visualization of information. Additional details are available at

*Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is managed by Battelle for the U. S. Department of Energy under contract number DE-AC06-76RL0 1830.