SITIS Archives - Topic Details
Program:  SBIR
Topic Num:  N07-089 (Navy)
Title:  Information Visualization for Distributed Collaborative Environments
Research & Technical Areas:  Information Systems

Acquisition Program:  
  Objective:  To develop technologies and tools to enable collaborative visualization of complex data, information, and knowledge in a distributed decision-making environment.
  Description:  Visualization is becoming increasingly important in analyzing scientific data, as it allows insight and understanding of information in a way not afforded by purely analytical means. Computing power and storage capacity has increased significantly over the past years, so massive amounts of data are available to the decision-maker. Despite the increase in visualization capability, little work has been done in the area of collaborative visualization. The state of the art in this area is equivalent to one analyst looking over the shoulder of another analyst. With the increasing emphasis upon collaboration in decision-making, improved capability for collaborative visualization is very desirable, especially in a distributed environment. The objective of this topic is to develop techniques, methods, and tools for collaborative visualization of data, information, and knowledge, with the goal of enabling rapid and informed decision-making in a distributed environment. Some suggested research and technology issues that can be addressed include, but are not limited to, the following: · Processes for visualizing metadata (data about the data) and pedigree (data quality) · Interaction technologies and methods that enable the user to intuitively understand complex data from multiple sources · Methods and tools that allow the user to adaptively explore the data and obtain new informative views · Techniques that work in real-time on a wide range of display devices (e.g., portable devices, desktops, shared displays) · Techniques that allow the user to store the insights obtained during an analytical session and the steps that were used to obtain these insights The proposed solution may include software or software and hardware. While specific applications may be discussed in a proposal, the developed system should be extensible and therefore applicable to a variety of domain areas.

  PHASE I: Develop methods that demonstrate the power of the proposed scientific visualization techniques in a distributed collaborative environment. The product from this phase will be a feasibility study for the proposed technology.
  PHASE II: Implement and demonstrate the utility of the system developed in Phase I. The output from this phase will be a prototype demonstration.

  PHASE III: Further develop and validate a product-level tool suite for delivery to the Navy or DoD. Convert the visualization system into a commercially viable product.

  PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL: Visualization has taken on increasing importance in many private sector application areas. These areas include finance, automotive engineering, aerospace, remote sensing, medicine, and geophysics. Significant advances in collaborative visualization are likely to find a market in one or more of these domain areas.

  References:  1. J. Thomas and K. Cook, Illuminating the Path: The Research and Development Agenda for Visual Analytics, IEEE Press, 2000. http://nvac.pnl.gov/agenda.stm 2. H. G. Pagendarm and B. Walter, “A Prototype of a Cooperative Visualization Workplace for the Aerodynnamicist”, Computer Graphics Forum, 12(3), EG 93 Conference Issue, pp 485-496, 1993. 3. J. D. Wood, H. Wright, K. W. Brodlie, “CSCV- Computer Supported Collaborative Visualization” in proceedings BCS Displays Group International Conference on Visualization and Modelling, Leeds, 1995. 4. B. C. Wallet, R. L. Wentland, J. Mokhtar, “Visualization of Massive Volumetric Data Sets” in Computer Science and Statistics 34, Fairfax, 2002. 5. E. J. Wegman, ”Visual data mining,” Statistics in Medicine, 22, pp 1383-1397, 2003.

Keywords:  Scientific Visualization, Exploratory Data Analysis, Collaborative Graphics, Human Factors, Collaborative Environments, and Decision-making.

Additional Information, Corrections, References, etc:
Ref #3: available at: http://www.scs.leeds.ac.uk/vis/covisa/Bcs.pdf
Ref #3: available at: http://www.scs.leeds.ac.uk/vis/covisa/Bcs.pdf
Ref #5: Available through online document delivery services.
Ref #5: Available through online document delivery services.

Questions and Answers:
Q: 1. Is there a need for real-time collaboration among users over a network? If so, should the solution include a means for real-time audio or video communication between users?

2. What types of display devices hold highest priority for support? Is it necessary to support small-form-factor displays, such as cellular phones and PDAs?

3. What tools are currently in place for meeting the needs outlined in the description? Where are the current tools falling short of meeting those needs?

4. What is the typical workflow around which a tool such as this will be used? Can you provide specific examples?
A: 1. The solution does not need real-time audio or video communication. This topic is more about the collaborative visualization.

2. We do not have any preferences here. Although, the disadvantaged user is an important consideration in devising the visualization methods. Such users would use PDAs and cellular phones.

3. We do not have any inputs on current tools.

4. We do not have a specific application, end-user, platform, or program in mind for the results of this SBIR. So, we cannot provide information on workflow. Please make reasonable assumptions based on your expertise and knowledge.
Q: Is there a need for simultaneous multi-user interaction?
A: Yes, that is one need, but it is not required.
Q: 1. Is there a need for real-time collaboration among users over a network? If so, should the solution include a means for real-time audio or video communication between users?

2. What types of display devices hold highest priority for support? Is it necessary to support small-form-factor displays, such as cellular phones and PDAs?

3. What tools are currently in place for meeting the needs outlined in the description? Where are the current tools falling short of meeting those needs?

4. What is the typical workflow around which a tool such as this will be used? Can you provide specific examples?
A: 1. The solution does not need real-time audio or video communication. This topic is more about the collaborative visualization.

2. We do not have any preferences here. Although, the disadvantaged user is an important consideration in devising the visualization methods. Such users would use PDAs and cellular phones.

3. We do not have any inputs on current tools.

4. We do not have a specific application, end-user, platform, or program in mind for the results of this SBIR. So, we cannot provide information on workflow. Please make reasonable assumptions based on your expertise and knowledge.
Q: Is there a need for simultaneous multi-user interaction?
A: Yes, that is one need, but it is not required.

Record: of