Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reaction: Jigsaw: Supporting Investigative Analysis through Interactive Visualization

Keeping in trend with the other papers in this set, this paper also aims towards making analysis of the information an easy task. A given text or data is analysed for various reason and using various parameters. Though the conventional use of reports for such analysis is still widely used, it at times might not provide a comprehensive analysis. The analysis using reports might not lead to proper identification of entities, relationship between the entities and other information. Hence in this paper the authors propose a tool called “Jigsaw” which provides an in-depth analysis of the information.

The Jigsaw method as the name suggests first identifies the entities form a text and then relates them with each other just like a jigsaw puzzle. One point which is stressed upon by the authors in this paper is that they still believe and support the use of reports for analysis but propose using Jigsaw as an additional tool for better understanding. Jigsaw provides a multiview perspective to the analyst and represents the data with an interactive visualization. The information is presented using four views which are tabular connections views, semantic graph view, scatter plot view and a text view to provide a perspective to the analyst. The entity action in one view is translated to the other view as an event and represented for analysis. The tool has features which allow the analysts to query or search for keywords in the data and analysts can also draw diagrams while inferring information from the text as Jigsaw integrates with Microsoft OneNote. However the authors state that for proper viewing of the data, Jigsaw might be required to be viewed on different screens which can prove to be an overhead for the tool.

Towards the second half of the paper, the authors discuss about the implementation of Jigsaw. Jigsaw is built using Java and accepts XML as the input. It is designed by following the MVC architecture. But as for visualization, the tool provides the analysed data in terms of list, graph, text and scatter plot. These have been well illustrated in the paper with examples. Thus as it is inferred from the paper, Jigsaw can be primarily used for investigative purpose; the tool can be further worked upon to extend the usage. Also in my opinion, the authors should target at increasing the number of visuals or views in which the data can be presented by the tool.