Monday, November 21, 2011

Reaction: Jigsaw: Supporting Investigative Analysis through Interactive Visualiation

This article discusses a novel way for analysts to search written text and aid in the investigative process. The emphaasis was on aiding researchers, not replacing researchers. The focus of the system that they developed seemed limited. They focused on very short (1-5 paragraph) documents, and I wish they had made a case for why that was a good thing to focus on. Indeed, it seemed like the data that their system could take it needed to be very specific.

I think the idea of using multiple views to help in analyzing documents is a good idea, but having to have four monitors in order to use the system effectively seems a little excessive. I know that in my own work it helps to have a second monitory, but I would imagine there's a point where having a certain number of monitors would start to hamper and not help productive analysis. The paper goes through the different views that Jigsaw has, but there isn't a lot of discussion for why they are using those views. I would have liked the view choices to have been backed up by some current analytical techniques, instead of a focus on how the views were created.

The scenario that the paper goes through seemed helpful, but rather contrived and abstract. It would have been better, in my opinion, to see the tool used in a real life setting instead of this example that seemed like the person using it already knew what to look for. There was not a lot of reason given for why the analyst looked for certain connections, and how that situation was true to the real world. The article concedes this point at the end when they talk about how the system hasn't been evaluated. I would be very interested in seeing how the system faired in a real world evaluation. Overall, though, I think the article had some interesting takes on document analysis.