Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reaction:Jigsaw: Supporting Investigative Analysis through Interactive Visualization

This is one of the interesting papers on text and document visualizations which talks about visualization tools and their importance for investigative analysts. This form of analysis is widely used in academia for trying to find relevant information in a particular field of study and its significance comes in saving lot of human labor. The other important factor that makes this kind of a tool a very interesting one is that the human element is limited in deriving conclusions from the information acquired from a particular number of documents.

Sense-making has been defined as ‘A motivated, continuous effort to understand connections (which can be among people, places, and events) in order to anticipate their trajectories and act effectively’. And most of the work associated with investigative analysts is dealt with sense making. The paper talks about the work put in by the authors in trying to help analysts search, review, and understand the documents better. The authors tried to incorporate the intelligence analysis process conducted by Pirolli and Card that is organized by foraging and sense-making. the primary unit of analysis from documents for Jigsaw is an entity. Jigsaw does not incorporate computational linguistics analysis techniques.

It provides for various views (List, Graph, Scatter plot, Document, Calendar, Document Cluster, Shoebox) which provide different perspective onto the data. User interaction with one view is translated to an event and communicated to all other views which then update themselves appropriately to allow for simultaneous examining of documents under different perspectives. The authors explained the design and infrastructure of the system in detail and have provided plenty of necessary information. This is definitely a very good read for text and document visualizations.