Dynamic Queries: A step Beyond Database Languages
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The capacity to incrementally adjust a query (with sliders, buttons, selections from a set of discrete attribute values, etc.) coupled with a visual display of results that are rapidly updated, dramatically changes the information seeking process. Dynamic queries on the chemical table of elements, computer directions, and a real estate database were built and tested in three separate exploratory experiments. Preliminary results show highly significant performance improvements and user enthusiasm more commonly seen with video games. Widespread application seems possible but research issues abound in the areas of: (1) graphic visualization design, (2) database and display algorithms, and (3) user interface requirements. Challenges include methods for rapidly displaying and changing many points, colors, and areas; multi-dimensional pointing and exploring using 6 degree of freedom input/output devices; incorporation of sound and visual display techniques that increase user comprehension; and integration with existing database systems.