Indented Pixel Tree Browser for Exploring Huge Hierarchies

  • Michael Burch
  • Hansjörg Schmauder
  • Daniel Weiskopf
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6938)


In this paper we introduce the Indented Pixel Tree Browser—an interactive tool for exploring, annotating, and comparing huge hierarchical structures on different levels of granularity. We exploit the indented visual metaphor to map tree structures to one-dimensional zigzag curves to primarily achieve an overview representation for the entire hierarchy. We focus on space-efficiency and simultaneous uncovering of tree-specific phenomena. Each displayed plot can be filtered for substructures that are mapped to a larger space and hence, unhide more fine-granular substructures that are hidden in the compressed overview. By representing tree structures side-by-side, the viewer can easily compare them visually and detect similar patterns and also anomalies. In our approach, we follow the information seeking mantra: overview first, zoom and filter, then details-on-demand. More interactive features such as expanding and collapsing of nodes, applying different color codings, or distorting the tree horizontally as well as vertically support a viewer when exploring huge hierarchical data sets. The usefulness of our interactive browsing tool is demonstrated in a case study for the NCBI taxonomy that contains 324,276 species and organisms that are hierarchically organized.


Interactive Feature Information Visualization NCBI Taxonomy Abstract Syntax Tree Visual Metaphor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Burch
    • 1
  • Hansjörg Schmauder
    • 1
  • Daniel Weiskopf
    • 1
  1. 1.VISUSUniversity of StuttgartGermany

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