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Assignment 4: Creating Interactive Visualization Software


Pre - Mar 1


I really want to visualize the metric I recently worked on that just rolled into production at work. The description of the metric is here: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/LLMessageSystem_Burst_Metrics - the short of it is that it is data on the throughput and latency of network message processing. I have no idea what it will show on live datasets; the impression is "laggy" but specifics on timing and other situations would be interesting to see.

I will not be using actual production data, only the schema. Using production data would give too much insight into the proprietary backend systems at Linden Lab. However, publicly available code and systems use the same messaging pattern, so I will analyze that.


I'm interested in the timeboxing methods. Apps will be reporting over a timespan, so it's a natural way to grab data from many timelines. (Or so I hope.) There are also many variables being tracked, so I hope to use small multiples to show many timelines which will all interactively adapt to selections.

I want to use protovis, because that presentation knocked my socks off, and web interfaces make it very easy to interact with web-service backed data streams.



Post - Mar 8

Actually finished Mon Mar. 15th at 9am


Paul Oppenheim - Berkeley.edu CS294-S10 Homework 4 - Prof. Maneesh Agrawala


The visualization app loads pre-processed LLMessageSystem Burst Metrics into small multiple time series line graphs for each major datapoint attribute. The graphs each have a movable red bar to the left along the Y axis which can be manipulated to select smaller areas of interest, which will be hilighted and updated among all graphs, in real time.

Changes from storyboard

This is not timeboxing.

  • it was quite difficult to implement this as it is
  • the Y axis is the variable of interest, and ideally controlling this is quite useful as it is.

Commentary and Process

This was much more difficult than I imagined.

Roughly how much time did you spend developing your application?

  • 03-07: 3hrs
  • 03-08: 8hrs
  • 03-09: 4hrs
  • 03-10: 6hrs
  • 03-11: 3hrs
  • 03-12: 7hrs
  • 03-13: 3.5hrs
  • 03-14: 10hrs
  • total: 44.5 hrs

What aspects took the most time?

  • learning javascript
  • deciphering completely opaque javascript error messages / debugging eval'd code
  • wrapping my head around the evaluation model of protovis (ie, why is "this" frequently invalid / not what expected, why are mark properties not getting set to correct values)
  • understanding how interaction works with the protovis evaluation model
  • discovering the limits of protovis (ie, example shows multiple panels, example shows interaction, but interaction among multiple panels requires completely different code / style)

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