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IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization

DOI: 10.1109/infvis.2004.21



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Expand-Ahead: A Space-Filling Strategy for Browsing Trees

Proceedings article published in 1 by M. J. McGuffin, G. Davison, Ravin Balakrishnan
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

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Many tree browsers allow subtrees under a node to be collapsed or expanded, enabling the user to control screen space usage and selectively drill-down. However, explicit expansion of nodes can be tedious. Expand-ahead is a space-filling strategy by which some nodes are automatically expanded to fill available screen space, without expanding so far that nodes are shown at a reduced size or outside the viewport. This often allows a user exploring the tree to see further down the tree without the effort required in a traditional browser. It also means the user can sometimes drill-down a path faster, by skipping over levels of the tree that are automatically expanded for them. Expand-ahead differs from many detail-in-context techniques in that there is no scaling or distortion involved. We present 1D and 2D prototype implementations of expand-ahead, and identify various design issues and possible enhancements to our designs. Our prototypes support smooth, animated transitions between different views of a tree. We also present the results of a controlled experiment which show that, under certain conditions, users are able to drill-down faster with expand-ahead than without