Oct 2015

Two IEEE talks: JEEVES and the Speculative W@nderverse

In October 2015 we attended two IEEE conferences in the USA. Daniel Rough presented a full paper at the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing, October 18–22, in Atlanta, Georgia. Uta Hinrichs presented a full paper at the IEEE Information Visualization (InfoVis) conference as part of VizWeek, October 25-30 in Chicago, Illinois. You can find details of these and all our papers on the publications page.

On November 10th, Daniel and Uta will reprise their talks here in St Andrews and everyone is welcome to attend. You can find the details for the two talks below along with links to the papers via the University of St Andrews research portal.

Talk 1 by Daniel Rough
Title: Jeeves – A Visual Programming Environment for Mobile Experience Sampling
Authors: Rough, D and Quigley, A.

Abstract: The Experience Sampling Method (ESM) captures participants’ thoughts and feelings in their everyday environments. Mobile and wearable technologies afford us opportunities to reach people using ESM in varying contexts. However, a lack of programming knowledge often hinders researchers in creating ESM applications. In practice, they rely on specialised tools for app creation. Our initial review of these tools indicates that most are expensive commercial services, and none utilise the full potential of sensors for creating context-aware applications.


We present “Jeeves”, a visual language to facilitate ESM application creation. Inspired by successful visual languages in literature, our block-based notation enables researchers to visually construct ESM study specifications. We demonstrate its applicability by replicating existing ESM studies found in medical and psychology literature. Our preliminary study with 20 participants demonstrates that both non-programmers and programmers are able to successfully utilise Jeeves. We discuss future work in extending Jeeves with alternative mobile technologies.

Paper details from the St Andrews Research Portal: Rough, DJ & Quigley, AJ 2015, ‘ Jeeves – a visual programming environment for mobile experience sampling ‘, IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (VL/HCC), Atlanta, United States

Talk 2 by Uta Hinrichs

Title: Speculative Practices: Utilizing InfoVis to Explore Untapped Literary Collections

Hinrichs, U.,  Forlini, S. ; Moynihan, B.
In this paper we exemplify how information visualization supports speculative thinking, hypotheses testing, and preliminary interpretation processes as part of literary research. While InfoVis has become a buzz topic in the digital humanities, skepticism remains about how effectively it integrates into and expands on traditional humanities research approaches. From an InfoVis perspective, we lack case studies that show the specific design challenges that make literary studies and humanities research at large a unique application area for information visualization. We examine these questions through our case study of the Speculative W@nderverse, a visualization tool that was designed to enable the analysis and exploration of an untapped literary collection consisting of thousands of science fiction short stories. We present the results of two empirical studies that involved general-interest readers and literary scholars who used the evolving visualization prototype as part of their research for over a year. Our findings suggest a design space for visualizing literary collections that is defined by (1) their academic and public relevance, (2) the tension between qualitative vs. quantitative methods of interpretation, (3) result- vs. process-driven approaches to InfoVis, and (4) the unique material and visual qualities of cultural collections. Through the Speculative W@nderverse we demonstrate how visualization can bridge these sometimes contradictory perspectives by cultivating curiosity and providing entry points into literary collections while, at the same time, supporting multiple aspects of humanities research processes.

Published in:
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics,  (Vol:22, Issue: 1 )  Page(s): 429 – 438
ISSN :  1077-2626
DOI:     10.1109/TVCG.2015.2467452

Paper details from the St Andrews Research Portal:
Hinrichs, U, Forlini, S & Moynihan, B 2015, ‘ Speculative practices: utilizing InfoVis to explore untapped literary collections IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics .