Weighted Faceted Browsing

Faceted Browsers

Screenshot of the Weighted Faceted Browser instatiated for the domain of visualisation in the context of VizBoardUsually a selection in a Faceted Browser means all or nothing − between this there are no other options.

Artur Werstler, a student supervised by Martin Voigt and me, analysed how Faceted Browsing and weights could be combined. This was done with respect to both: weights in the data and weighted query expressions. A prototype he developed in the context of the visualisation workbench VizBoard was now presented by means of a short paper on the EICS 2012. It shows how weighting parts of a query and faceted browsing can be combined consistently in a single user interface. Besides using weights for sorting multiple results, also filtering may be influenced by weights given that a certain threshold has been previously defined. By using weights, it is possible to avoid filtering out good results (with respect to most criteria) too early − only because some item did not match the very first restricted facet.

Please note that the items which can be filtered in the prototype are from the visualisation domain as well. So, this specific instance of a WFB is a visualisation of visualisations.

 

Where are the limits of Faceted Browsing?

Faceted Classification

Faceted Browsing can be seen as an interactive means to construct visual queries. In her diploma thesis, Marleen Kosslitz analysed faceted browsers to find out, which query patterns they construct and how far the interface may be tweaked to construct more complex queries, still offering an easy-to-use user interface.

She also created prototypical extensions for the Eclipse Faceted Browser developed at the chair of Software Technology at TU Dresden.

Screenshot from the extended Prototype

Should FCA Lattices and Faceted Browsing be married?

Faceted Browsers
Facettice - Facet Lattices View
Facet Lattices View

Benjamin Bach did this in his master thesis “Facettice: Integrating Faceted Navigation and Concept Lattices for Visual Data Exploration”. While it has been realised and described before that Formal Concept Analysis (FCA) and Faceted Browsing relate to each other in various aspects [], no detailed comparison and synthesis of the user interfaces of Faceted Browsers and Concept Lattices from FCA had been done.

Since I supervised this work in cooperation with Dietrich Kammer from the chair of “Mediengestaltung” at TU Dresden, you find it at http://mg.inf.tu-dresden.de/studentische-arbeiten/arbeiten/434 .

We recently also published a VisWeek poster on this.