George Furnas

George Furnas
University of Michigan | U-M · School of Information; Department of Computer Science; Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

79
Publications
8,299
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
23,814
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 1995 - August 2015
University of Michigan
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (79)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
To advance the understanding of different diagrammatic reasoning architectures that reason directly with images, we examine the relationship between Anderson’s Inter-Diagrammatic Reasoning (IDR) architecture and Furnas’ BITPICT architecture using the technique of cross-implementation. Implementing substantial functionality of each in the other, and...
Conference Paper
How does one make sense of a large or complex task? By the term "sensemaking" we mean the processes people go through to frame, collect, organize and structure information to help understand a problem. Sensemaking is what people do to get from the earliest phases of an information collecting and organizing task to the conclusion. Sensemaking tasks...
Article
The complexities of sensemaking suggest that collaboration should be difficult, requiring a rich ecology of collaboration support. This can be a problem for handoff sensemaking, where one person must continue where another has left off, sometimes with only material artifacts as the basis of the handoff. A detailed analysis of essential attributes o...
Article
The evaluation of exploratory search relies on the ongoing paradigm shift from focusing on the search algorithm to focusing on the interactive process. This paper proposes a model-driven formative evaluation approach, in which the goal is not the evaluation of a specific system, per se, but the exploration of new design possibilities. This paper gi...
Conference Paper
When confronted with a large or complex amount of information, how DO people come to understand it? This workshop will focus on the most recent work in sensemaking, the activities, technologies and behaviors that people do when making sense of their complex information spaces.
Article
Sensemaking has been described by Russell et al (1993) as a process of representational development, wherein people seek increasingly effective representations to support the tasks they face. This position paper discusses two partial models of such representational change, along with the strengths and weakness of each.
Article
In the comprehension of textual data, it is critical for people to perceive relationships between topics. This work explores two approaches that use text categorizations to reveal underlying relationships: the Overlap approach, which visualizes overlaps between categories, and the Search approach, which shows topical search results in the context o...
Conference Paper
The panel will explore the relevance of the emerging tagging systems (Flickr, Del.icio.us, RawSugar and more). Why do they seem to work? What kinds of incentives are required for users to participate? Will tagging survive and scale to mass adoption? What are the behavioral, economic, and social models that underlie each tagging system? What are the...
Conference Paper
Information worlds continue to grow, posing daunting challenges for interfaces. This paper tries to increase our understanding of approaches to the problem, building on the Generalized Fisheye View framework. Three issues are discussed. First a number of existing techniques are unified by the commonality of what they show, certain fisheye-related s...
Conference Paper
A critical aspect of sensemaking is finding appropriate representations for information important to a task. As background for the design of future systems to help people in finding such representations, this paper reports a study of where people currently get aspects of structure for their representations Results show that representation construct...
Article
In this paper, a new type of interaction environment, the multiscale collaborative virtual environment (mCVE), is proposed to support multiple users working to- gether at different scale levels. This paper introduces the concept of multiscale col- laboration in the context of 3D virtual environments and describes the benefits of multiscale collabor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Conference Paper
Adding multiscale capabilities to collaborative virtual environments can potentially help people work on very large electronic worlds. Our experiment shows that the user performance on cross-scale tasks is indeed improved.
Conference Paper
This paper introduces new interactive ways to create, manipulate and analyze shapes, even when those shapes do not have simple algebraic generators. This is made possible by using pixel-pattern rewrites to compute directly with bitmap representations. Such rewrites also permit the definition of functionality maps, bitmaps that specify the spatial s...
Conference Paper
A multiscale Collaborative Virtual Environment (mCVE) is a virtual world in which multiple users can independently resize themselves to work together on different sized aspects of very large and complicated structures. Interactions among users in an mCVE differ in many ways from those in traditional collaborative virtual environments. In this paper...
Article
In the interest of developing techniques for manipulating shapes that do not have easy algebraic generators, we explore pixel-rewriting rules that work directly on the raster representations. This paper illustrates several simple pixel level rules and how they can be put together to achieve a variety of complex kinds of functionality including movi...
Article
Information worlds are getting ever more vast. We need, not only better environments for dealing with this vast scale, but better tools for authoring information in those environments. This paper describes a new type of tool for authoring objects in infinite pan/zoom (so-called "multiscale ") environments, like PAD++. Called the MultiScale Editor (...
Article
Sensory feedF4I for user actions in arbitrarily large information world s can exhaust the limited dEEAA" range of human sensation. Two well-known illusions, one optical and oneaud334AI can be used to give arbitrarily large ranges of feed"FIH KEYWORDS: Zoom views, multiscale interfaces, interface feedM2IH5B322Id4MIH5B322IdI2I
Article
Current computer systems are dominated by forms, behaviors and interactions most easily described in the textual languages of the underlying software. In this demo we enrich the space of interactive visual forms and behaviors by using an alternate underlying, non-sentential computational paradigm, Pixel Rewrite Systems. We show fundamental algorith...
Article
As human-computer interaction (HCI) expands its scope, the proper context for the design of information technology (IT) is increasingly an interconnected mosaic of responsive adaptive systems (MoRAS) including people's heads, or- ganizations, communities, markets, and cultures. The introduction of IT not only perturbs the individual systems but als...
Conference Paper
Many diagrams can be thought of as graphical representations used to support the solution of problems. This paper discusses how computation based on pixel-level rewrites can produce a rich form of diagrammatic computation making use of intermediate graphical constructions not explicit in the input or output of the problems it is solving.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we introduce the problem of "desert fog," a condition wherein a view of an information world contains no information on which to base navigational decisions. We present a set of view-based navigational aids that allow navigators to find their way through desert fog in multiscale electronic worlds. Prototypes of these aids have been i...
Article
this document? We will argue later (section 3.5) that this approach is basically misleading, but we will explore it first. Throughout we take an empirical approach, collecting large amounts of data on actual human language usage, then modeling and evaluating different system strategies. A more detailed exposition of the data collection and analysis...
Article
Previous work has shown that there is a major vocabulary barrier for new or intermittent users of computer systems. The barrier can be substantially lowered with a rich, empirically defined, frequency weighted index. This paper discusses experience with an adaptive technique for constructing such an index. In addition to being an easy way for syste...
Article
This paper presents design considerations for the construction of advanced information environments, and a prototype interface that attempts to respond to them. The design considerations came from task analyses of information gathering activities, from changes in the global information environment, and from advances in humancomputer interaction. Th...
Article
This report summarizes a workshop at CHI'97 that focused on issues in navigation in electronic information environments. In addition to trying to clarify definitions of navigation and related concepts, the workshop explored aspects of the psychology of navigation, navigation as a task and properties of worlds (and their content) that affect in how...
Conference Paper
In view navigation a user moves about an information struc- ture by selecting something in the current view of the struc- ture. This paper explores the implications of rudimentary requirements for effective view navigation, namely that, despite the vastness of an information structure, the views must be small, moving around must not take too many s...
Conference Paper
The School of Information at the University of Michigan is a new graduate school that offers highly interdisciplinary opportunities in education and research. We have a program in HCI as well as Library and Information Sciences, Archives and Record Management, and are discussing offerings in Future Systems Architecture, Organizational Information S...
Article
This two-day workshop will bring together researchers and designers working on different topics relevant to navigation in electronic information worlds. The central focus will be on human navigation in electronic information emphasizing fundamental issues in research and design. The chosen focus requires awareness of the broader topics of navigatio...
Article
Full-text available
This paper describes a new approach for dealing with the vocabulary problem in human-computer interaction. Most approaches to retrieving textual materials depend on a lexical match between words in users' requests and those in or assigned to database objects. Because of the tremendous diversity in the words people use to describe the same object, l...
Article
This paper proposes one large class of possible solutions to this problem. In particular it will present a formal statement of the general class; a subsequent paper
Article
We present some basic properties of two general graphical techniques for constructing views of high-dimensional objects, projection and section. Projections can easily display aspects of structure that are only of low dimension, while sections, i.e., intersections of subspaces with a highdimensional object, can easily display structure of only low...
Article
Traditional deductive systems work with sentences of symbols. Even in newer systems that also reason from diagrams sentential representations still play a major role. The work here explores deductive systems that use only picture-like representations. Machinery functionally equivalent to variables, quantifiers, substitution, unification, and bindin...
Article
Certain fundamental properties are necessary for informations structure to be effectively view-navigable as they get larger. View-navigation here means the familiar method of moving from one locally visible part of the information structure to another until a target is found. Fundamental properties needed include: views of the structure must be sma...
Conference Paper
This paper introduces multitrees, a new type of structure for representing information. Multitrees are a class of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) with the unusual property that they have large easily identifiable substructures that are trees. These subtrees have a natural semantic interpretation pro- viding alternate hierarchical contexts for inform...
Chapter
This paper reviews some recent work using statistical models to help information retrieval. The approach, called Latent Semantic Indexing, uses a high dimensional, bilinear statistical representation. Its basic conception, its performance, as well as several variations and uses are reviewed. Final discussion focuses on open questions of finding sti...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we introduce ephemeral interest groups for supporting informal communication. Ephemeral interest groups are electronic discussion groups that, in contrast to bulletin boards and the like, are short-lived and ad hoc. They are designed as a medium for informal discussions of items broadcast to a wider community. We have implemented a p...
Conference Paper
This paper aspires to make three points: (1) that certain graphical interfaces are especially easy to learn and use, (2) that special graphical deduction / computation systems are possible, and (3) that perhaps points (1) and (2) are intimately related, i.e., that graphical interfaces may be especially useful because they engage special human graph...
Article
This documentation is for an experimental calendar display pro- gram that dynamically reallocates screen real-estate to implement a "fisheye" display strategy: It gives the most space, and shows the most details about, appointment information for the focal date (e.g., the current date); less for the the rest of the focal week, and still less for th...
Article
A new method for automatic indexing and retrieval is described. The approach is to take advantage of implicit higher-order structure in the association of terms with documents (“semantic structure”) in order to improve the detection of relevant documents on the basis of terms found in queries. The particular technique used is singular-value decompo...
Article
By associating a whole distance matrix with a single point in a parameter space, a family of matrices (e.g., all those obeying the triangle inequality) can be shown as a cloud of points. Pictures of the cloud form a family portrait, and its characteristic shape and interrelationship with the portraits of other families can be explored. Critchley (u...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In a new method for automatic indexing and retrieval, implicit higher-order structure in the association of terms with documents is modeled to improve estimates of term-document association, and therefore the detection of relevant documents on the basis of terms found in queries. Singular-value decomposition is used to decompose a large term by doc...
Article
In almost all computer applications, users must enter correct words for the desired objects or actions. For success without extensive training, or in first-tries for new targets, the system must recognize terms that will be chosen spontaneously. We studied spontaneous word choice for objects in five application-related domains, and found the variab...
Article
We want computer systems that can help us assess the similarity or relevance of existing objects (e.g., documents, functions, commands, etc.) to a statement of our current needs (e.g., the query). Towards this end, a variety of similarity measures have been proposed. However, the relationship between a measure's formula and its performance is not a...
Conference Paper
In many contexts, humans often represent their own “neighborhood” in great detail, yet only major landmarks further away. This suggests that such views (“fisheye views”) might be useful for the computer display of large information structures like programs, data bases, online text, etc. This paper explores fisheye views presenting, in turn, natural...
Article
Previous work has shown that there is a major vocabulary barrier for new or intermittent users of computer systems. The barrier can be substantially lowered with a rich, empirically defined, frequency weighted index. This paper discusses experience with an adaptive technique for constructing such an index. In addition to being an easy way for syste...
Article
In 1984, the National Science Foundation began a large initiative to provide the scientific community with access to Class VI computers. With the support of the NSF Program on Memory and Cognitive Processes, the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological and Cognitive Sciences invited a group of scientists to a workshop that considered the advanced co...
Chapter
A least-squares algorithm for fitting ultrametric and nath length or additive trees to two-way, two-mode proximity data is presented. The algorithm utilizes a penalty function to enforce the ultrametric inequality generalized for asymmetric, and generally rectangular (rather than square) proximity matrices in estimating an ultrametric tree. This st...
Article
Full-text available
A least-squares algorithm for fitting ultrametric and path length or additive trees to two-way, two-mode proximity data is presented. The algorithm utilizes a penalty function to enforce the ultrametric inequality generalized for asymmetric, and generally rectangular (rather than square) proximity matrices in estimating an ultrametric tree. This st...
Article
This paper examines how imprecision in the way humans name things might limit how well a computer can guess what they are referring to. People were asked to name things in a variety of domains: instructions for text-editing operations, index words for cooking recipes, categories for 'want ads', and descriptions of common objects. We found that rand...
Article
Several techniques are given for the uniform generation of trees for use in Monte Carlo studies of clustering and tree representations. First, general strategies are reviewed for random selection from a set of combinatorial objects with special emphasis on two that use random mapping operations. Theorems are given on how the number of such objects...
Article
This paper examines how imprecision in the way humans name things might limit how well a computer can guess to what they are referring. People were asked to name things in a variety of domains: instructions for text-editing operations, index words for cooking recipes, categories for “want ads,” and descriptions of common objects. We found that rand...
Article
Database users make choices, form queries, and understand output. Good computer systems must accommodate the ways that humans best accomplish such tasks. Here we review relevant facts and principles from experimental studies of human information processing. We discuss known characteristics of human memory, language use, and problem solving, and sug...
Article
The descriptors or categories assigned to entries in an information system form the basis of most retrieval mechanisms (e.g., menu or key word). These descriptors are the primary means of communication between system designers and end users. In this paper we analyze some of the factors which influence this communication link. Our goal is to uncover...
Article
Typescript (photocopy). Thesis (Ph. D.)--Stanford University, 1980. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 347-350).
Article
We present some basic properties of two general graphical techniques for constructing views of high-dimensional objects, projection and section. Projections can easily display aspects of structure that are only of low dimension, while sections, i.e., intersections of subspaces with a high- dimensional object, can easily display structure of only lo...

Network

Cited By