Dynamic visualization of hierarchical data

Hikmet Senay, Jeffrey S. Saltz

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Articlepeer-review


Many business data applications involve several hierarchies reflecting inherent structure of the underlying domains. Often, these hierarchies are presented in a spreadsheet like format, showing a single hierarchy in a tabular form with drill down and roll up capabilities. Although this approach works for simple hierarchies and small data sets, they tend to break as the hierarchies become more complex or the size of data set increases. An alternative approach, which has the potential to work equally well with complex hierarchies and large data sets, is to devise a visualization front-end for dynamically altering and displaying views of data under user control. Toward this end, we have developed a prototype of a visualization tool to view large financial data sets which typically involve multiple hierarchies. The tool not only acts as a data presentation medium, but also serves as a graphical means to form complex queries and interact with data. Its presentation structure uses hierarchical labels, which may be drilled down or rolled up, and displayable cell objects, which may have arbitrary complexity. Its data interface allows users to select data of interest, map data parameters to visual attributes, set threshold values to focus on interesting data, and read data values associated with cell objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-458
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventHuman Vision and Electronic Imaging II - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 10 1997Feb 10 1997


  • Dynamic visualization
  • Financial information
  • Hierarchical data
  • Interactive viewing
  • Visual spreadsheet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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