Applying design principles in authorship networks – A case study (Video)

This 5 minute video shows and explains the highlights of the comparison on ResearchTable using two established design principles.

Feedback very welcome, as always !

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Interactive Sensemaking in Authorship Networks (Poster)

I’m currently in Japan on my way to the ITS2011 conference in Kobe, where I will present a poster on ResearchTable.

The poster tries to summarize the ideas, the preparations, work and evaluations performed around ResearchTable.

I think it worked out rather well, but please let me know what you think !

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Short video about new version of Researchtable, powered by Cytoscape


Here is a short video about a new version of Researchtable, powered by Cytoscape.
Cytoscape is an open source platform for visual network exploration.
I have created a modified version, which is suited to work on multi-touch devices.
The application is currently still targeted towards publication network exploration, but can easily be extended for use in other domains !

Thanks to the powerful Cytoscape back-end, it is also a breeze to put in additional features in the future.

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How to build your own multi touch table

On popular demand, here are some details on what I used to build our table, and pointers that can help you to build your own :

First of all, it is important to choose which technology you want to use to detect the multi touch input. Here is a book available with a nice survey of the existing technologies : Multi-Touch_Technologies_v1.01 .

I chose to use Laser Light Panel (LLP), as it doesn’t require a lot of hardware, it is relatively easy to set up and it does not require any pressure on the fingers to detect the input.

Some pointers :

The build details :

The parts I used :

  • 1x Projector : I used an HD projector, the Epson EH-TW5000. For ease of installation and calibration, features such as lens shift and key stone correction might prove useful.
  • 4x 25mW 780nm infrared lasers with line generator (120 degrees), can be bought here :, This page even has a very nice explanation on how to install and adjust the lasers.
  • 2x sheets of glass
  • 1x big sheet of chalk paper
  • 1x webcam with infrared filter removed (Playstation eye’s work well), I bought a special 780nm filter here :
  • 1x Mirror : it works with a cheap of the shelf mirror, but for crisp non-double reflecting you need a front surface mirror.
  • something to power the lasers. I used an old PSU.
  • Self hardening clay for positioning the lasers. Later on I madeΒ  a small adjustable laser-holder for more accurate calibration.
  • Some wood or metal to build a table πŸ˜‰ For the first version, I just used two tables, and put some wooden beams in between to hold the glass.

If you have some more specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact me. And if you are building a multi touch application or a table, let me know ! I’m always interested in new ideas/projects πŸ™‚

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ScienceTable at EC-TEL 2010

As some of you might know, I was preparing to demo and evaluate the ScienceTable at the EC-TEL 2010 conference. This conference was organized in Barcelona, only 1400km from Leuven πŸ˜‰

It took us some effort to build a version of our tabletop that would fit into my car, and had a professional finish. To compare,Β  have a look at my previous posts to see how the first version looked like : Tabletop : 1st prototype .

I really like the looks of the second version of our tabletop :

During my two month visit at KMI in the Open University, Milton Keynes I improved the performance of ScienceTable application, and up to the days before EC-TEL, I added a lot of functionalities :

  • search for authors or papers (with on screen keyboard)
  • long click to highlight the outgoing connections
  • filter papers by year
  • filter authors by number of publication
  • reset the zoom level
  • a restart button πŸ˜‰

So once the table was set up at the demo hall of the conference, we could try to attract people to play with our applications :

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To get an actual feel of how the ScienceTable works now, here is a unedited video shot live at the conference :

We also invited volunteers to do an evaluation of the app, and give us feedback through a small survey :

We are now processing the evaluations and thinking about the next steps to be taken.

I would like to thank all people for their feedback and kind words in the survey, also the conference organizers for giving us a great spot to demo our applications and finally Sten for being a great co-pilot during the long drive !

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Interactive co-authorship network

This is the first video I put online of the work-in-progress ScienceTable application :

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Tabletop : 1st prototype

I know that it is old news, but I wanted to have a chronological overview of the evolution of our tabletop construction and my ScienceTable visualization.

Here are some stills of our first prototype. We used this to experiment with the hardware, available tracking libraries and developing an application for it :

In some late hours work, we also made a short video of the table working (don’t mind me being extremely enthousiastic) :


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