Monday, November 21, 2011

Reaction: Jigsaw: Supporting Investigative Analysis through Interactive Visualization

Jigsaw is a visual analytic tool that helps investigative anaylsts deduce conceptual models quickly by studying multiple coordinated views of document entities and amount of coupling and correlation among entities.Views are coordinated in such a way that actions within a view is reflected in others. Author specifically mentions that its a human centered system which puts analyst in charge of analysis as opposed to automated algorithm or techniques. Document entities are represented as four coordinated views :- tabular,semantic graph,scatter plot and text view , wherein changes in one is immediately communicated to other views.Jigsaw offer many customization feature to support different analysis requirement of users like authoring view etc.Its interesting to learn that jigsaw designed using familiar lang like Java and XML and based on Model View Controller architecture.List view efficiently handles overload by providing a mode in which all selected and connected entities are automatically moved to the top of the list. Incremental approach of graph view definitely makes it useful, systematic as well as informative. However, logic should have been designed for positioning entities systematically, not randomly. Scatter Plot view look clustered, however multiple visual representation, color coding and shapes will offer a slightly clear picture. I believe that scatter plots are less informative as compared to graphs or tabular views. Text View appears to be an overall summary view with links and mapping to other views. Author supports finding with help of a scenario. As a part of future work, author propose to replace current batch -oriented model with more dynamic model wherein entity extraction will be integrated on-the-fly. Overall, its a good read.Jigsaw is an effective way to visualize large text documents,but it will be interesting to do some stress testing on jigsaw to learn more about its real scope and limitations.