ERCIM News No.47, October 2001 [contents]

Sponsored by ERCIM

Workshop on User Interfaces to Data Intensive Systems

by Epaminondas Kapetanios

The second international workshop on User Interfaces to Data Intensive Systems (UIDIS) took place at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Zurich, Switzerland, 31 May - 1 June 2001. The two-days workshop has been attended by 24 participants.

The mission of the workshop was to continue the tradition of previous workshops in Interfaces to Database Systems (IDS 1992, IDS 1994, IDS 1996) and the 1st UIDIS 1999. The emphasis, however, has been put to a human-centered way of human-computer interaction, especially, when data intensive systems are concerned. The workshop tried to find solutions to problems such as interaction with high-dimensional spaces, accessing large and semantically difficult to interpret database schemas, understandability of data and user/system interactions, through a variety of 12 accepted papers which have been selected out of 17 submitted papers by the program committee.

In particular, the workshop brought together researchers practitioners in information management systems, computer-human interaction, knowledge based methodologies and visualization. The papers were organized in three sessions which mainly addressed:

  • context aware data querying and information retrieval techniques in order to restrict the navigational space and increase understandability of domain knowledge and data in semantically difficult to interpret databases. The presentations were related to context aware query languages as well as to information retrieval techniques
  • designing effective user interfaces for interactive systems in terms of embedding user/system interaction issues into conceptual design (UML), constraints based specification of user interface patterns, considering of possible outcomes in a user/system interaction environment, as well as the semi-automatical derivation of user interfaces by using XML
  • providing comprehensive visualization techniques which enable the recognition of interesting information patterns as well as the presentation of information.

The two invited talks addressed the accessing and organizing large information spaces. The first talk put the emphasis on the semantics based (ontological) approach, on the example of contents management for business-to-businsess electronic commerce, while the second talk discussed the use of the parallel coordinates approach as a visualization technique for high-dimensional information spaces. The workshop has been considered a success by the participants and organizers alike. A number of sponsors have contributed to its successful organization: ERCIM; the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM - Special Interest Group Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI); the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich; the GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceutical company, and the University of Zurich.

Please contact:
Epaminondas Kapetanios - ETH Zurich
Tel: +41 1 632 7261