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Domesticating Bead: Adapting an Information Visualization System to a Financial Institution

Brodbeck D.
Chalmers M.
Lunzer A.
Cotture P.


The Bead visualization system employs a fast algorithm for laying out high-dimensional data in a low-dimensional space, and a number of features added to 3D visualizations to improve imageability. Here we describe recent work on both aspects of the system, in particular a generalization of the data types laid out and the implementation of imageability features in a 2D visualization tool. The variety of data analyzed in a financial institution such as UBS, and the ubiquity of spreadsheets as a medium for analysis, led us to extend our layout tools to handle data in a generic spreadsheet format. We describe the metrics of similarity used for this data type, and give examples of layouts of sets of records of financial trades. Conservatism and scepticism with regard to 3D visualization, along with the lack of functionality of widely available 3D web browsers, led to the development of a 2D visualization tool with refinements of a number of our imageability features.

[Bro97] Brodbeck D., Chalmers M., Lunzer A. and Cotture P.. Domesticating Bead: Adapting an Information Visualization System to a Financial Institution. In John Dill, Nahum Gershon (editors), Proceedings of Information Visualization '97, Phoenix, AZ, October 20-21 1997, pages 73-80, 1997.

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