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LifeLines for Visualizing History Records (ISR IP)

ISR intellectual property available to license

Catherine Plaisant, Ben Shneiderman

Records of personal histories are needed in a variety of applications. Members of the medical and legal professions examine a record to garner information that will allow them to make an informed decision regarding their patient or case. Decision making critically depends on gleaning the complete story, spotting trends, noting critical incidents or cause-effect relationships and reviewing previous actions. In most applications delays in gathering information to elaborate a meaningful overview of the record can have deleterious effects. LifeLines mitigates such problems through a general visualization environment for personal histories that can be applied to medical and court records, professional histories and other types of temporal data.

In LifeLines a one screen overview shows multiple facets of the records. Aspects, for example, medical conditions or legal cases, are displayed as individual time lines, while icons indicate discrete events, such as physician consultations or legal reviews. Line color and thickness illustrate relationships or significance, rescaling tools and filters allow users to focus on part of the information. LifeLines reduces the chance of missing information, facilitates spotting anomalies and trends, streamlines access to details, while remaining tailorable and easily transferable between applications.

For more information
If you would like to license this intellectual property, have questions, would like to contact the inventors, or need more information, contact ISR External Relations Director Jeff Coriale at or 301.405.6604.

Find more ISR IP
You can go to our categorical IP search page to search by research category or faculty name. Or view the entire list of available IP on our complete IP listing page.

ISR-IP-Shneiderman ISR-IP-medicine ISR-IP-HCIL ISR-IP-software ISR-IP-datamining

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June 18, 2007

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For more information, contact ISR External Relations Director
Jeff Coriale at or 301.405.6604.

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