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Dynamic Collaborative Visualization Ecosystem (DynaCoVE)

Description:

TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Info Systems 

OBJECTIVE: Develop visual analytics tool to support collaborative decision making with high-dimensional variables using 2D, 2 1/2D, and 3D visualization with interaction for demonstration. 

DESCRIPTION: Dynamic Collaborative Visualization Ecosystem (DynaCoVE) is a new visualization tool that will support a data-centric, user-centric, visualization algorithm and systems agnostic visualization. It is a visualization software that will allow the user to generate visualization from the data and display it on any of the display systems available in the visualization ecosystem for knowledge discovery and exploration. The display system selected will also support interactive interaction of the visualization created. DynaCoVE will be configured with different visualization systems capable of 2D, 2 1/2D, and 3D display supporting fully-immersive, semi-immersive, and non-immersive visualization. Auditory output, together with touch, 2D, and 3D interaction for the appropriate display system will also be needed to support interactive visual analytics process [1]. The Army needs to analyze and correlate heterogeneous data from multiple sources has created a visual analytics challenges that cannot be addressed by a single type of visualization system. The Army Testing and Evaluation community together with various Army groups working on physics based simulation are getting overwhelmed with heterogeneous big data problems. A hybrid visualization system capable of combining the benefits of both immersive and non-immersive visualization to create a seamless 2D and 3D environment that supports information-rich analysis would overcome some of the challenges [2][3][4]. DynaCoVE will be a visual analytics tool used to develop situational understanding by managing complex visualization ecosystem that will develop and sustain a high degree of situational understanding while operating in complex environments against determined, adaptive enemy organizations. DynaCoVE will also be a visual analytics tool used to set the theater, sustain operations, and maintain freedom of movement. DynaCoVE novel visual analytics tool will provide strategic agility to the joint force, and maintain freedom of movement and action during sustained and high tempo operations at the end of extended lines of communication in austere environments. We seek novel development in a visualization ecology capable of visualizing heterogeneous data with full interaction on the appropriate visualization system. In a typical use case, the user will upload simulation data or sensor data and create a visualization using one of the available visualization techniques. Once created, the user will have the option to push the visualization to one of the display systems that is appropriate for the type of visualization created. For example, if the user selected a fully-immersive display system to visualize a 3D simulation data, the user will be able to walk over to the fully-immersive display system and be fully immersed in the simulation data. Using 3D interaction techniques, the user will then be able to interact with the data in 3D to study and gain new understanding from the process. The user can also create a 2D cut plane of the 3D simulation data and push the data to a touch enabled 2D display to visualize and interact with the data using the touch interface. DynaCoVE will be the realization of an interactive ecosystem of devices, humans, and software that will provide a framework for which a renewed study of the meaning of interaction and computation can be achieved and redefine visual analytics. The applicability of such a system will provides new understanding to data science. Challenges in this topic include complex melding of various visualization systems, visualization techniques, and interaction techniques needed to create a seamless and dynamic visualization environment from multiple spatially aware displays that can evolve over time. Creating interaction mechanisms by using crowd-aware, and context-aware technologies to facilitate communication within the community of devices, and individuals that form the visualization ecosystem can also be equally challenging. 

PHASE I: Develop feasible concepts and provide a proven methodology within a software design framework to demonstrate a DynaCoVE system to support visual analytics. The deliverables should include a conceptual design for the complete DynaCoVE and a working proof of the design that clearly reflects novel instantiations of the supporting visual analytics approach. Phase II plans should also be provided, to include key component milestones and plans for testing and validation. 

PHASE II: Develop, demonstrate, and validate a working prototype system for a limited set of display systems (but from different display categories) based on the preliminary design from Phase I. All appropriate usability and engineering testing will be performed to finalize the design. Human factor (usability) study will need to be rigorously performed to demonstrate the usability of the prototype system designed. Phase II deliverables will include a working prototype of the system, specification for its development, and a demonstration of the visual analytics tool. 

PHASE III: Follow-on activities are expected to be aggressively pursued by the offeror, namely in seeking opportunities to integrate the visualization hardware, visualization techniques, data analytics algorithms, and protocols of the developed plug-and-play approach into DynaCoVE visual analytics platforms. Commercial benefits for DynaCoVE are enormous as many existing visual analytics tools capable of supporting heterogeneous visual analysis using heterogeneous display ecosystem are none existence with many big players from the academia and commercial sector working towards prototyping a similar tool. Similar to existing visual analytics tools, getting customer data into the tool will generate unlimited potential for consulting opportunity with the adaptation of the tool. 

REFERENCES: 

1: Endert, A., Hossain, M., Ramakrishnan, N., North, C., Fiaux, P., Andrews, C., "The human is the loop: new directions for visual analytics.", Journal of Intelligent Information Systems, pp. 1-25, 2014

2:  Su, S., Chaudhary, A., O'Leary, P., Geveci, B., Sherman, W., Neito, H., Francisco-Revilla, L., Virtual reality enabled scientific visualization workflow, 2015 IEEE 1st workshop on Everyday Virtual Reality (WEVR), 23 March 2015.

3:  Febretti, A., Nishimoto, A., Thigpen, T., Talandis, J., Long, L., Pirtle, JD, Peterka, T., Verlo, A., Brown, M., Plepys, D., Sandin, D., Renambot, L., Johnson, A., Leigh, J., CAVE2: A Hybrid Reality Environment for Immersive Simulation and Information Analysis, Proceedings of IS&T / SPIE Electronic Imaging, The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality 2013, San Francisco, CA, February 4, 2013

4:  Kobayashi, D., Su, S., Bravo, L., Leigh, J., Shires, D., ParaSAGE: Scalable Web-based Scientific Visualization for Ultra Resolution Display Environment, IEEE Visualization 2016, Poster, 23-28 October 2016, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

KEYWORDS: Visual Analytics, Immersive Visualization, Non-immersive Visualization, Semi-immersive Visualization, Visualization Ecology 

CONTACT(S): 

Simon Su 

(410) 278-1421 

simon.m.su.civ@mail.mil 

Luis Bravo 

(410) 278-9719 

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