A History Model and Framework for Collaborative Visualization Sessions

F. Yang, A. Bauman, H. Goodell, J.L. Drury, H. Levkowitz, and G.G. Grinstein (USA)


Visualization, session history, session history model, history framework, Computer-Supported CollaborativeWork (CSCW), annotation


Internet applications let people around the globe work together, entering and leaving collaborations on their own schedules; even multitasking between several projects at once. However, this flexibility and the lack of real-world awareness cues make it more difficult for users to keep track of what they and others are doing and have done during each collaborative session. This paper describes our application of session history and multi-user awareness tools to reduce the cognitive load. We introduce a session history model for collaborative systems and a history management framework implemented in a web-based collaborative multi-user visualization system. Collaborating users see color-coded and annotated histories of their own and others’ actions, which are recorded in a history database and visualized with a variety of tools. For privacy, and to reduce information overload, users choose when to make their actions public or explore privately, sharing only edited “storyboards” that bring other users through selected states of their exploration.

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