Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Jigsaw: Supporting Investigative Analysis through Interactive Visualization

Investigative analysts are people who try to uncover hidden plots by reading several documents and try to make connections between entities and events mentioned in the documents. This is a really memory intensive task and plays very important role in crime control and military intelligence. The authors have built a new elaborate visualization tool called jigsaw to assist the analysts in their work. The tool is not based on complex algorithms instead it leaves the intelligent work to the analyst and just aims to act as aid. 

Jigsaw has four different views. Each view is planned to be in a different screen. Each view provides a different perspective to the analyst. The list view and the semantic view are graphical representations. The list view shows all the entities and events of interest mentioned in a document as a list and connects there occurence in different documents. It is like a bi partite node link graph. It is simple and easy to comprehend. The semantic view presents a node link diagram which represents the connections between entities in a very manner. These links are across documents. There are two more views. These views provide a more textual representation. Scatter plots let the analyst explore the documents using sliders and a scatter plot of entities in the document. The last view is a text view that highlights the parts of the document under consideration. 

When the analyst interacts with one of the views these events are propogated to all the views. All views respond to these events with there own specific responses. However the analyst can turn off listening of these events for a particular view. This provides greater flexibility.