LiveRAC - Live Reorderable Accordion Drawing

Peter McLachlan
Master's Thesis
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LiveRAC is a scalable focus+context approach for monitoring computer systems and networking data that provides user-directed data reordering and details-on demand. LiveRAC maps alarm and metric data from network devices including servers, routers and switches into a visual metaphor called accordion drawing. In accordion drawing, users interact with the display as though it were a rubber sheet tacked down at the borders. Regions of the display can be stretched and compressed, but the fixed borders ensure the visibility of the entire information space. Compressed regions of the display aggregate the underlying data. We implement guaranteed visibility, a mechanism for ensuring the visibility of important features such as critical alarms. LiveRAC extends existing accordion drawing techniques in two ways: it can add, remove and reorder objects to the data set in logarithmic time, and provides an infrastructure for semantic zoom, a visualization technique where an optimal data representation is selected based on the screen space available to a data cell. Using a client-server approach we allow the user to query the underlying data in a context-rich, visually salient metaphor while maintaining interactive frame rates.


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Peter McLachlan
Last modified: Tue Sep 19 14:00:21 PDT 2006