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Visualization of Web Spaces: State of the Art and Future Directions

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journal contribution
posted on 21.12.2021, 16:59 by Ozgur TuretkenOzgur Turetken, Ramesh Sharda
The World Wide Web is a dominant global communication medium and knowledge repository. It is used by a great number of people with a variety of computer skills hence its usability is critical. As with many large information collections, the challenge with web usability is understanding the structure of a collection of information objects (web pages) to find relevant ones for satisfying a specific information need. Web sites are organized in a hyperlinked structure that somewhat addresses this challenge. However, this “connectedness” also causes the now well-known “lost in cyberspace” phenomenon where one may get confused within the complex organization of a web site. Meanwhile, information exploration on the web is not limited to browsing a web site. The problem of finding relevant information applies to a collection of pages that come from various web sites as in the case of the results of a “less than perfectly constructed” search query.

Information visualization has been proposed as a way to cope with these problems by taking advantage of people’s innate perceptual skills to support their cognitive skills. Many paradigms have been proposed for the visual presentation of web spaces (i.e. structured or unstructured collection of web pages). This study surveys these paradigms to provide a map of where the research in this field is, and what directions future research and practice can take. For this, we introduce a classification scheme to help in the systematic understanding of web visualization and for providing a framework for the development of
future visualizations.

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