Dynamic query tools for time series data sets: Timebox widgets for interactive exploration (2004)

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Timeboxes are rectangular widgets that can be used in direct-manipulation graphical user interfaces (GUIs) to specify query constraints on time series data sets. Timeboxes are used to specify simultaneously two sets of constraints: given a set of N time series profiles, a timebox covering time periods x1...x2 (x1rx2) and values y1...y2 (y1ry2) will retrieve only those nAN that have values y1ryry2 during all times x1rxrx2. TimeSearcher is an information visualization tool that combines timebox queries with overview displays, query-byexample facilities, and support for queries over multiple time-varying attributes. Query manipulation tools including pattern inversion and eaders & laggards graphical bookmarks provide additional support for interactive exploration of data sets. Extensions to the basic timebox model that provide additional expressivity include variable time timeboxes, which can be used to express queries with variability in the time interval, and angular queries, which search for ranges of differentials, rather than absolute values. Analysis of the algorithmic requirements for providing dynamic query performance for timebox queries showed that a sequential search outperformed searches based on geometric indices. Design studies helped identify the strengths and weaknesses of the query tools. Extended case studies involving the analysis of two different types of data from molecular biology experiments provided valuable feedback and validated the utility of both the timebox model and the TimeSearcher tool.

Timesearcher is available [url=http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/ timesearcher]online.[/url]