Human + agent: creating recombinant information Conference Paper uri icon


  • combinFormation is a tool that enables browsing and collecting information elements in a generative space. By generative, we mean that the tool is an agent that automatically retrieves information elements and visually composes them. A combinFormation session presents a dynamic, evolving recombination of information elements from different sources. The elements are manipulate in the information space. Recombination is the process of taking previously unconnected elements, and combining them to create new configurations.One purpose of this space is to support the formation of ideas, through more and less focused processes of foraging. While ideas are forming, the criteria that underlie information foraging activities may not be well defined. Collecting the specific subset of related information elements is challenging. Cognitive scientists have established that combinations of images and textual elements are examples of preinventive structures that can lead to the emergence of new ideas. These preinventive structures often combine existing representations.Our program generates recombinant visualizations that develop interrelationships between the information elements. The generative visualization is based on a procedural model of the information, and the user's interests. The user model reflects interactions in which s/he explicitly expresses interest. The agent retrieves information based on the evolving model. The visual composition is also developed to emphasize the user's evolving sense of what is important. This involves solving problems in the dynamic visualization of dynamic, heterogeneous collections. In our novel interaction model, the human being shares control of the evolving information space with the agent. The user can express interest in information elements as they stream in, and design the visual space, using interactive tools. Expressions feed back through the model to drive the program's retrieval and visual composition decisions.

name of conference

  • Proceedings of the eleventh ACM international conference on Multimedia

published proceedings

  • Proceedings of the eleventh ACM international conference on Multimedia

author list (cited authors)

  • Kerne, A., Sundaram, V., Wang, J., Khandelwal, M., & Mistrot, J. M.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Kerne, Andruid||Sundaram, Vikram||Wang, Jin||Khandelwal, Madhur||Mistrot, J Michael

editor list (cited editors)

  • Rowe, L. A., Vin, H. M., Plagemann, T., Shenoy, P. J., & Smith, J. R.

publication date

  • January 2003