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DocuBurst: Visualizing Document Content using Language Structure


Christopher Collins, Gerald Penn, Sheelagh Carpendale, Brittany Kondo, Bradley Chicoine

DocuBurst is the first visualization of document content that takes advantage of the human-created structure in lexical databases. We use an accepted design paradigm to generate visualizations that improve the usability and utility of WordNet as the backbone for document content visualization. A radial, space-filling layout of hyponymy (IS-A relation) is presented with interactive techniques of zoom, filter, and details-on-demand for the task of document visualization. The techniques can be generalized to multiple documents.

Check out the live demo here.

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The code for displaying and interacting with radial, space-filling trees in prefuse is open source and is available for download. The code is distributed as a zip file and can be imported into Eclipse. It is dependent on the prefuse information visualization toolkit and, unfortunately, is minimally documented at this time:


  • C. Collins, S. Carpendale, and G. Penn, “DocuBurst: Visualizing Document Content Using Language Structure,” Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. of the Eurographics/IEEE-VGTC Symposium on Visualization (EuroVis)), vol. 28, iss. 3, pp. 1039-1046, 2009.


    key = {col2009a},
    author = {Christopher Collins and Sheelagh Carpendale and Gerald Penn},
    title = {DocuBurst: Visualizing Document Content Using Language Structure},
    journal = {Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. of the Eurographics/IEEE-VGTC Symposium on Visualization (EuroVis))},
    year = 2009,
    volume = 28,
    number = 3,
    pages = {1039 — 1046},
    doi = {10.1111/j.1467-8659.2009.01439.x}


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