IEEE Visualization 2000 * Oct. 8-13, 2000 * Salt Lake City, Utah



Thursday, October 12, 2000 - 7:00pm-8:30pm

Jeremy Walton, The Numerical Algorithms Group Ltd

IRIS Explorer is a visualization toolkit and application builder available from The Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) for major Unix platforms (including Linux) and Windows NT. The current release (4.0) incorporates a variety of new features, including collaborative visualization (originally presented at IEEE Visualization '96), improved VRML output and an enhanced user interface. This meeting gives users (and prospective users) a chance to hear the latest news about the system (including details of the new features in IRIS Explorer 5.0) and user resources (such as the web-based module repository) from the development team itself.


--- CANCELLED! ---
Saturday, October 7, 2000 - 8:00am-5:00pm

Brian Boyle,

"Information is a difference that makes a difference." -- Gregory Bateson (1972) (in reconciling the contradictory definitions of "information" by Claude Shannon, "father of Information Theory" and by Norbert Wiener, creator of "Cybernetics.")

This mini-workshop focuses on the emerging tools and concepts for thetransformation, visualization and manipulation of "the next dimension" of information, the inherently nonquantitative semantic interrelationships. Arguably, all visualization is semantic: systems transform and present data and information such that their interrelationships' meaning - their semantics - is visible to humans. The advances of our age rest on the expressive power, for communication and basic understanding, of classic innovative transforms of inherently quantitative dimensions such as isometric projection in space or the now-intuitive left-to-right unfolding of time. But to escape the flood of raw information available via the worldwide web and multimedia channels, increasingly we must climb the ladder of abstraction to the more refined level of the meaning itself, the qualitative relationships that are only now beginning to emerge with more intelligent search engines, more powerful abstracting systems, more intuitive outlining and knowledge-network presentation systems, and the emerging semantic foundation provided by XML, the richer, more rigorous sibling of the first-generation Web's presentation-oriented HTML As a concrete but only illustrative focus - to seed interactive discussion with a timely, familiar and controversial topic - the workshop facilitators have collected several examples from the legal gladiatorial arena and transformed them into rudimentary XML documents for examination: disputed software and business process patents - highly structured textual and graphic documents with semantics as precise and obscure as any programming language -coupled with some of the relevant "priorart" from the software literature that might invalidate those patents (or even kept them from issuing) if there existed a method for the semantic visualization of the similarities, differences and a metric of novelty and "nonobviousness." This has been widely and publicly discussed by Jeff Bezos (, Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly Publishing) and Dave Winer (creator of the innovative and widely popular outliners, ThinkTank, MORE!, Ready and now Frontier.)


  • Participation is limited to 20 people.
  • Submit proposals to the organizers by August 15, 2000.
  • Submitters will be notified of acceptance by September 15, 2000.
See for updates on the workshop requirements.


Birds of a Feather (BOF) sessions will be held Thursday evening. These sessions will provide participants the opportunity to discuss current topics with others. BOFs are open to all Vis 2000 attendees. If you wish to lead a BOF, please contact Rob Erbacher ( Be sure to check the final program to see what BOFs are offered, and when you arrive, be sure to check for additions.

Please send any comments or suggestions to J. Davison de St. Germain (