Information presentation system for a graphical user interface

Information presentation system for a graphical user interface
US006426761B1
(12)
United States Patent
(10) Patent N0.:
US 6,426,761 B1
(45) Date of Patent:
Jul. 30, 2002
Kanevsky et al.
(54)
INFORMATION PRESENTATION SYSTEM
FOR A GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE
6,262,597 B1 *
*
.
6/2001 Lokuge .................... .. 345/841
.
cited by exammer
(75) IIIVGIIIOI‘SZ Dimitri Kanevsky, OSSiIliIlg; Cli?OI‘d
A- Pickover; AleXaIldel‘ ZlatSiIl, bOIh
Of YOrktOWn Heights, all 0f NY (US)
Primary Examiner—cao H_ Nguyen
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Scully, Scott, Murphy &
Presser; Daniel P. Morris, Esq.
(73) Assignee: Internation Business Machines
(57)
Corporation, Armonk, NY (US)
( * ) Notice:
n ormation presentation system comprises
a computer
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
-
ABSTRACT
I f
-
patent is extended or adJusted under 35
U‘SC' 154(k)) by 0 days‘
-
-
devkie having a display terminal for pioviding a graphical
user mterface (GUI), capable of generating a cluster of items
. .
.
.
comprising graphical or textual elements for display thereof
according to a fractal appearance. Each item in a cluster
represents information having a degree of relatedness With
information represented by other items in a cluster. Acontrol
(21) Appl' NO‘: 09/298’016
(22) Filed:
Apt 23’ 1999
mechanism is provided for controlling the spatial extent,
nesting and arrangement of items Within a cluster according
IIlt.
(52)
(58)
Cl-7
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..
to
US. Cl. .............. ..
345/788; 345/764
Field of Search ............................... .. 345/762, 765,
a
Speci?ed
Criteria,
Spatial
extent
and
arrangement
is controlled to provide optimal display and conserve screen
display space on the display terminal. Users may manually
345/744, 788, 764, 835, 968, 775, 839,
enter a criteria for organizing and adjusting the spatial extent
854
of a cluster in order to provide continuous display space on
the computer display terminal. The invention may be imple
(56)
References Cited
mented in text editors to provide a multiresolution annota
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
tion feature for portable and lap/palm-top computer devices
having pen-based or keyboard based inputs.
6,112,186 A *
6,188,405 B1 *
8/2000 Bergh et a1. ................ .. 705/10
2/2001
48 Claims, 8 Drawing Sheets
CZerWinski et a1. ...... .. 345/764
600
Text or Other Document Editor/ Student's notes in margin
This is the Professor's lecture notes on
.
.
612\-»-var|ous subjects such as computers,
biology, chemistry, physics.
617
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stidcze'nltam 31/
making notes- I619
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‘\ 615
610 /
Magnifier
620
Readout
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U.S. Patent
Jul. 30, 2002
Sheet 1 of 8
US 6,426,761 B1
100
110
Fractal Icons
_____.
FIG. 1(a)
U.S. Patent
Jul. 30, 2002
Sheet 2 of 8
US 6,426,761 B1
200
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Vacuums
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Palm Computers
Appliances
Palm Computers -- 212
/- 220
/ 230
FIG. 1(b)
U.S. Patent
Jul. 30, 2002
Sheet 3 of 8
US 6,426,761 B1
300
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FIG. 2
U.S. Patent
Jul. 30, 2002
US 6,426,761 B1
Sheet 5 0f 8
/
User drags icon
25
to a location on cluster
r
20
Z
System detects need
to add icon to cluster
J 24
User releases icon
J26
System automatically sizes icon
J28
System "snaps" icon to location
FIG. 4(a) / 30
System reads criteria
from user input (optional)
System reads criteria from file“
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System determines characteristics
of information represented by icons
38
System determines spatial
distribution of icons in cluster
System determines icon's
J39
size and location
FIG. 4(b)
_
_ _
_
_
_
_
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U.S. Patent
Jul. 30, 2002
Sheet 6 6f 8
US 6,426,761 B1
62
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64
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System determines association
_ _
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J66
strength function (and criteria)
System queries database of information
characterizing information, and links between info.
System organizes and clusters icons, links, etc.
FIG. 4(c)
U.S. Patent
Jul. 30, 2002
Sheet 7 of 8
User wishes to
US 6,426,761 B1
“"40
navigate cluster
User drags mouse over cluster
r42
(or specifies intent)
S43
System detects need to alter
view or cluster characteristics
System alters cluster view
k’ 44
(eg. magnification, translation)
FIG. 4(d)
50
X
[
User selects icon
52
3
Yes
Password
Detected?
Access
granted
56
2
User changes view of cluster
FlG. 4(e)
U.S. Patent
Jul. 30, 2002
US 6,426,761 B1
Sheet 8 0f 8
FIG. 5
600
Text or Other Document Editor / Student's notes in margin
This is the Professor's lecture notes on
612 \/~
617
Hello, I am a‘
various subjects such as computers,
student
biology, chemistry, physics.
making notes.
.
610
Magnifier
620
Readout
630\ 1
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FIG. 6
700
Notes
Notes
i
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Notes
Notes
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Notes
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US 6,426,761 B1
1
2
INFORMATION PRESENTATION SYSTEM
FOR A GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE
information according to a fractal appearance so that por
tions of the editor’s display area may be magni?ed in order
to broWse, organiZe and annotate clusters of teXt and dia
grams displayed at different siZe scales.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide an
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to computer graphical user
interfaces (GUIs) and, more speci?cally, to a system for
improved system and method for organiZing, displaying,
managing, and selecting icons, teXt, images, graphics, and/or
generating a graphical user interface for computer desktops,
teXt editors, Web broWsers, and the like, that organiZes
WindoWs on a computer graphical interface, Wherein the
graphical, teXtual, pull-doWn menus, desktop and Webtop
performed according to user-de?ned criteria.
management, organiZation, and display is automatically
elements as a spacial cluster having an appearance and
It is yet a further object of the invention to provide a
Which may be organiZed and condensed in siZe according to
user-speci?ed or system-generated criteria.
system and method for automatically controlling the spatial
2. Discussion of the Prior Art
Graphical user interfaces for computer systems such as
display GUI, Which spatial distribution is utiliZed to suggest
distribution of clusters of items displayed on a computer
15
for presentation on a user display terminal. Each of these
relatedness of information represented by items Within a
cluster.
The use of fractal icons, WindoWs and Web links provide
a means for visually and spatially consolidating and orga
icons are of a predetermined siZe, and selectable, for
instance, by a mouse click, and represents a shortcut or agent
niZing related functions, data, teXt, programs and other
information represented by graphical elements. With fractal
for activating the selected program, for example, a database,
teXt editor, an operating system utility, Web broWser
icons, WindoWs, Web links, and teXt, the user never runs out
of space on a computer-screen desktop, Web broWser
program, etc. Additionally, a screen display accommodates
WindoW, or document (text) editor WindoW.
Thus, according to the principle of the invention, there is
provided an information presentation system comprising: a
the Microsoft’s WindoWs 95/98® desktop typically com
prise a plurality of icons or graphical elements con?gured
pop-ups of WindoWs, teXt, tool bars, and other information,
With no regard as to the space limitations of the GUI.
The limitation of display space on a typical user screen
25
computer system including display terminal for providing
presents a problem given the ever increasing amount of
graphical user interface (GUI); a means for generating a
programs that are available for all kinds of computer users.
Although WindoWs themselves are collapsible to a small
cluster of items comprising graphical or textual elements for
display via said GUI, each item in a cluster representing
information having a degree of relatedness With information
represented by other items in said cluster; and a means for
controlling the spatial eXtent of and arrangement of items
Within a cluster according to a speci?ed criteria, Which
spatial eXtent and arrangement is controlled to provide
optimal display and conserve screen display space on said
icon-siZe tab, they still take up space on the display screen.
It Would be highly desirable to provide a graphically user
interface and system for generating GUI displays that pro
vides a means for visually and spatially consolidating and
organiZing related functions, data, teXt, programs and other
information represented by graphical elements, as clusters
35
having a fractal appearance, in a manner so as to conserve
display terminal. Preferably, the cluster of items is arranged
computer screen desktop space.
It Would further be highly desirable to provide a graphi
according to a fractal appearance. Besides controlling the
spatial eXtent of a fractal cluster, the nesting of items Within
and/or arrangement of items Within the cluster may be
controlled to suggest relations of items on the display
terminal.
cally user interface and system for generating GUT displays
that automatically organiZes, nests, and clusters icons,
WindoWs, Web links, and teXt according to user-speci?ed
A primary advantage of the inventive system for present
criteria, and in a manner so that relatedness of information
represented by items in the cluster may be easily understood.
Moreover, as computer and computing devices having
ing fractal item arrangements over the prior art is that the
45 user never runs out of desktop space. Smaller and smaller
items may be generated as needed and may remain in the
pen inputs for Writing on touch-sensitive screens are becom
vicinity of other related items. Thus, the system automati
ing increasingly common, like the CrossPad manufactured
by AT. Cross Company, it Would be desirable to provide a
system that may be used for organiZing and annotating
documents on pen-based computers.
cally changes the spatial eXtent of, nesting Within, and/or
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to provide a
graphical user interface (GUI) and system for generating a
computer GUI that automatically organiZes, nests, and clus
55
ters related desktop elements, such as WindoWs, teXtual and
Advantageously, the system may be implemented to form
graphical elements (such as icons), for display according to
annotations in a kind of “multiresolution” document com
a fractal appearance, so that computer desktop display space
may be conserved.
It is another object of the invention to provide a Web
prised as part of novel portable or pervasive computers With
pen, stylus, touch, speech, or keyboard inputs. In these
systems multiresolution annotation may be performed With
pen, stylus, touch, speech, or keyboard inputs.
broWser GUI implementing a system for automatically orga
niZing and displaying related Webtop display elements, e.g.,
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
teXt, Web-page links, in clusters, for display according to a
fractal appearance so that Web broWser’s display space may
be conserved.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a GUI for
a teXt editor and other types of editors that displays teXtual
arrangement of items Within the cluster, in order to permit
ef?cient use of available display space and/or enhanced
vieWability. A second advantage is that the user may quickly
cluster items in space and understand relationships betWeen
items in a cluster. Athird advantage is that a single parameter
may be used to control and characteriZe the spatial arrange
ment of items such as: icons, WindoWs, Web links and teXt.
Further features, aspects and advantages of the apparatus
65
and methods of the present invention Will become better
understood With regard to the folloWing description,
appended claims, and accompanying draWings Where:
US 6,426,761 B1
4
3
FIG. 1(a) depicts the novel computer desktop and infor
and sub-icons at varying siZes. Fractals provide a useful Way
to organiZe and represent sets of displayed items such as
icons 110 because fractals often have a self-similar,
mation presentation system comprising a cluster of icons
and sub-icons having a fractal appearance.
FIG. 1(b) depicts the novel computer Web-top presenta
tion system comprising a cluster of Web-page links of
5
various siZes having a fractal appearance.
FIG. 2 is a three dimensional depiction of a fractal icon
cluster.
FIG. 3(a) is an interface screen display WindoW enabling
organiZed graphical elements at many siZe scales so that
When a part is magni?ed it resembles the Whole structure.
Although fractals are often quite regular and symmetrical in
appearance, they may also have a more irregular or random
appearance, if desired.
user entry of spatial dimension parameters and siZe adjust
ment criteria.
FIG. 3(b) is an interface screen display WindoW enabling
user query of factual cluster characteristics.
FIG. 4(a) is an illustrative ?oW chart depicting the method
15
for adding an icon to a fractal cluster of the GUI of the
invention.
resolution, e.g., as on any conventional desktop GUI such as
presented by Microsoft’s WindoWs 95/98 operating system,
and may comprise other icons 115 in diminishing siZes for
display in close proximity With the central icon 112. For
example, as shoWn in FIG. 1(a), a plurality of sub-icons 115
may surround the larger icon 112, With sub-sub-icons 117
of association strengths in determining organiZation and
clustering of items.
surrounding each sub-icon 115, etc. The spatial clustering
25
degree or nature of relatedness for the set of nearby icons.
For example, all icons in one cluster, e.g., cluster 110, may
represent system programs and all icons in another cluster,
FIG. 5 illustrates a “fractal text” arrangement comprising
a set of one or more pieces of text at different siZes on a text
e.g., cluster 1101, may represent editing programs.
According to the invention, the computer system 100
editor screen display.
FIG. 6 illustrates a display of a portable hand-held com
puter device enabling multiresolution annotations of text by
a pen input device.
35
Which have four surrounding sub-icons and so on for 10
different siZe scales. A denser, or more complex, nesting
requires the replacement of “four” sub-icons With “sixteen”
sub-icons, for example. The concept of fractal dimension is
generating GUIs for a variety of “desktop” and Web broWser
related to this nesting in the sense that a cluster that densely
?lls space has a higher fractal dimension than a cluster that
applications that implements fractal geometries for organiZ
ing items such as icons, WindoWs, pull-doWn menus, text
and any other graphically represented information. For
is sparse. In a preferred embodiment, the icon siZe, bright
ness and nesting determination may be based on the creation
instance, additional graphical objects that may be organiZed
presentations, and WindoWs displaying TV broadcasts. GUI
objects could also include three dimensional images, for
example, those used in virtual reality applications. Users
may also use the invention to organiZe desktop “shortcuts”
Which may represent programs, data ?les, links to Web
pages, etc and are usually represented by icons on the
desktop GUI that permit fast access to programs or Web site
links. Shortcuts to Web pages may be created by dragging a
determines icon siZe and nesting based on several param
eters. As understood, nesting refers to the nature and number
of icons at different siZe scales Within a cluster. For example,
an icon might have four surrounding sub-icons each of
Which in turn have four surrounding sub-icons, each of
The present invention is a method and apparatus for
include icons With static or animated graphics, multimedia
110 of a central icon 112 and other various nearby icons 115,
117 in diminishing siZes is intended to suggest to a user a
FIG. 4(c) is a How chart depicting the passWord protection
mechanism implemented in the system of the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE
PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE
INVENTION
As shoWn in FIG. 1(a), fractal icon clusters 110, 1101,
1102, (With all their sub-icons), for example, are shoWn as
varying siZes, Which, as Will be explained, may be generated
automatically according to pre-de?ned criteria, a user
speci?ed criteria, or, as a dynamically changing criteria.
Each cluster, for example, may comprise a normal-siZed
central icon 112 generated according to a screen display
FIG. 4(b) is an illustrative ?oW chart depicting the method
for automatically determining the characteristics of a fractal
cluster.
FIG. 4(c) is an illustrative ?oW diagram depicting the use
FIG. 4(LD is a How chart depicting the method for navi
gating through a fractal cluster.
attractive, easily-recogniZed structure that is conveniently
manipulated, speci?ed, and stored. The term “self-similar”
implies that a fractal has similar-looking and similarly
45
date, hierarchy, frequency of use, siZe of information rep
resented by the icon, relations betWeen information repre
sented by items such as icons or links, or other parameter—
or, the siZe may be entirely determined by the user’s
preference and manual manipulation With mouse. For
example, a user may Wish to place (or have the system
automatically place) more frequently used icons in a central
position With larger siZe. Less used programs (represented
by icons) may be positioned surrounding the central icon at
smaller siZes. As another example, a user may drag an icon
link from the Web broWser to a location on the desktop GUI.
If the user clicks on these iconic shortcuts, the Web broWser 55 representing a CAD program to one region of the desktop
is invoked, and the page of information corresponding to the
link represented by the shortcut is displayed in the broWser.
FIG. 1(a) illustrates the information presentation system
100 of the invention Which comprises the generation of a
novel computer monitor or display terminal 102 presenting
a desktop of information in the form of one or more
interrelated clusters 110 of icons and sub-icons having a
fractal appearance. Each icon of a cluster may comprise
either text, data, Web-links, and programs or other informa
tion represented by graphical elements. On the computer’s
desktop 102, the GUI presents a fractal icon and/or WindoW
arrangements comprising a cluster 110 of one or more icons
and surround it With tiny icons representing data ?les used
by the CAD program.
According to the invention, a user may also Wish to
control, or have automatically controlled, the nature of
nesting and fractal dimension. For example, less-used icons
might be added to (or already reside in) a cluster With a
high-fractal dimension and nesting because a user is less
likely to have the need to navigate this cluster and therefore
is Willing to sacri?ce graphical simplicity to save screen real
65 estate.
It should be understood that the fractal appearance for an
icon cluster is not limited to a central larger icon With
US 6,426,761 B1
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6
surrounding smaller sub-icons, but may take on a more
random cluster appearance or, alternatively, a more orga
niZed appearance, such as icons provided in a circle or
FIG. 3(a), the system generates an input speci?cation pop
up WindoW 400 on the GUI display screen having an entry
?eld 410 enabling a use to enter a fractal dimension of a
elliptical structure, icons in tree-like structure, and icons in
cluster, an entry ?eld 420 for enabling user entry of any
other spatial characteristic, e.g., radius of gyration, and a
3-D clusters With bounding regions of various shapes (e.g.
pyramid, cube, tetrahedron, etc.). Additionally, it should be
?eld 430 enabling entry of user-speci?ed criteria indicating
understood that the concepts presented herein relating to a
desktop appearance, equally apply to the appearance of
Web-page links on a Web-broWser (“Web-top”) display.
Thus, as shoWn in the example Web-top GUI 200 of FIG.
hoW a fractal icon or icon cluster should appear, i.e., What
measure of fractal dimension or spatial distribution to imple
ment. Such criteria upon Which a change in fractal dimen
10
1(b), there is illustrated example Web-page 202 having a
cluster 210 of Web links 212 presented at different siZe scales
in the Web broWser and having a fractal appearance.
Furthermore, in accordance With the invention, fractal clus
ters may be applied to 3-D GUIs, such as in virtual reality
systems. Thus, as shoWn in FIG. 2, the system may generate
for presentation an arrangement 300 of fractal icon clusters
15
automatic arrangement of icons by exploiting combinations
of criteria so that the icon arrangements (e.g., clusters)
provide visual feedback to users on the relatedness of
information represented by icons.
310 in 3-D space.
FIG. 4(a) is a How chart depicting the methodology 20 for
generating fractal icon clusters in the information presenta
tion system of the invention. It should be understood that the
methodology applies to texts and images in Web-broWsers
and editors, as Well as desk-top computer displays. As
shoWn in FIG. 4(a), there is a ?rst step 22 Which represents
In order to access and see smaller icons of a fractal icon
cluster 110, 210, 310 a user may manually magnify or Zoom
in on regions of the desktop using a variety of means such
as by dragging a mouse device cursor (not shoWn) over the
region to be magni?ed. Alternatively, a magni?er icon such
as icon 120, 220 shoWn in FIGS. 1(a) and 1(b), respectively,
may be dragged over a region of the fractal icon cluster 110,
210 to reveal smaller icons. The degree of magni?cation
sion or spatial distribution may be based, include, for
example, frequency of icon use, recency of icon use, rela
tions betWeen information represented by items such as
icons or links, etc. Thus, the invention provides for the
the user’s manual dragging of an icon to a location on a
25
cluster. As an aid in the manual placement of icons Within a
fractal cluster, the computer’s operating system may draW
empty “ghost” icons in appropriate and available siZe posi
may be speci?ed by numeric, mouse-gestural, graphical
slider, speech input, or other means (not shoWn), With the
tions of a cluster so that the user has a visual target to Which
degree of icon nesting being as deep as desired. The com
he may drag icons. For example, these empty icons may be
puter may also automatically enlarge sub-icons, sub-sub
portrayed by a faded dotted square to Which an actual icon
icons based on predicted needs of the user or by some other
may be dragged using a mouse (not shoWn). In addition,
Web-page links (represented by text or images) may be
inserted into appropriate positions Within the fractal cluster,
criteria, as Will be explained in greater detail.
The fractal icon clusters and arrangements according to
the invention provides users With continuous desk-top/Web
top space that is alWays conserved. That is, smaller and
e.g., on a Web page. Next, the system may check the
35
smaller icons may be used as needed and remain in the
vicinity of one another, thus making room for more clusters
appropriateness of the move, and may prompt a Warning to
the user to ensure that a neWly generated icon is “related” to
the cluster to Which it is being moved. As indicated at step
24, the user releases the icon, and, at step 26, the system
or icons on the display. Speci?cally, the density and degree
to Which the icons (including sub-icons, sub-sub-icons, etc.)
automatically implements methods for siZing the icon given
change siZe relative to the larger icons may be controlled by
the location of the ghost icon to Which it is being dragged to.
Then, at step 28, the system snaps the icon at the determined
a fractal dimension parameter Which is a mathematical
variable that characteriZes the packing and arrangement of
the icons. For example, a high fractal dimension implies a
denser, more highly compacted nesting of icons in a cluster,
siZe to the determined location. Alternately, as shoWn in
FIG. 4(a), rather than manually dragging an icon to the
location on the cluster, at step 25, the system may detect the
While a loW fractal dimension Would visually appear as a 45 need to add the icon to a cluster, as long as an indication is
diffuse collection of icons. Preferably, the computer operat
ing system automatically adjusts this parameter, as needed to
provided as to the related cluster to Which it belongs. Then,
the system Will automatically siZe and snap the icon to the
available location in the cluster at steps 26 and 28. It should
conserve space (i.e. screen real estate), suggest relations of
be understood that, according to the method of FIG. 4(a),
icons, or sets of icons, may be dragged and drop betWeen
items in a cluster to the user, or improve user interaction. For
example, as mentioned, less-used icons reside in a cluster
With a high-fractal dimension and nesting because a user is
less likely to need to navigate this cluster and therefore is
Willing to sacri?ce graphical simplicity to save screen real
estate. The system automatically detects that all the icons in
a cluster have not been used in a month, for example, and
clusters With siZe changes occurring automatically.
According to a preferred embodiment, the system may
automatically determine the characteristics of a cluster and
determine from a pre-speci?ed criteria or combinations of
55
Will automatically repack them. Similarly, an often-used
cluster may “spread out” (e.g., decrease the fractal dimen
sion of the set of center points of each icon, thereby alloWing
the individual icons to be larger) so that a user may more
criteria, hoW a fractal cluster should be displayed. FIG. 4(b)
is a How chart depicting the methodology 30 for automati
cally determining the characteristics of an icon cluster. As
indicated at step 32, the ?rst step requires the reading of
parameters representing a measure or degree of fractal
criteria either from a ?le or, optionally, as indicated at step
34, from a user input, Which criteria indicates hoW a fractal
icon or icon cluster should appear, i.e., What measure of
cluster spatial distribution include: density, radius of
gyration, standard deviation, etc.
spatial distribution to implement. The criteria that may be
speci?ed includes, but is not limited to: average creation
easily navigate and magnify regions of interest. Other
Alternately, users may alter the fractal dimension of an
icon cluster by various means such as by entering numbers
With a keyboard via a pop-up WindoW on the GUI, or, for
example, gesturing With a mouse. For example, as shoWn in
65
date (or other mathematical function of the creation dates) of
the information represented by all icons in the cluster;
average creation date (or other mathematical function of the
creation dates) of the icons in the cluster; the nature of the
US 6,426,761 B1
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8
information represented by the cluster; the number of times
the person (e.g., manager, CEO, friend); 7) the reading
the information has been accessed in the cluster by the user
or others (frequency of use); the last time information in the
cluster Was accessed (recency of use); the length of time the
user, or others, spent navigating the cluster; the siZe of the
been visible on the screen, and percentage of the document
dWelled on (i.e., did the user scroll to the ?rst page, pause
there for several minutes, scroll to the neXt page, pause for
information represented by icons in the cluster, hierarchy,
several minutes, . . . ) The amount of total time vieWing the
and association strength betWeen items, or other parameter
characteriZing the cluster. Then, given the criteria, as indi
cated at step 36, the system determines the characteristics of
the information represented by the icons in the cluster, e.g.,
its creation date, or frequency of use, etc, and from that
information, at step 38, determines What fractal dimension
(or radius of gyration or other measure of spatial
distribution) to use. Accordingly, as indicated at step 39, the
object may be computed by calculating the time spent
system Will then determine an icon’s siZe and location
Within the fractal cluster. For example, if all the icons in a
cluster have not been used for a long time, the fractal
history, including dates and durations that a document has
scrolling or by other criteria that Would distinguish active
vieWing from simply having the information displayed on
10
15
dimension of the cluster may automatically change Which
gives the cluster a different, smaller appearance to the user
and potentially free up screen real-estate for other icons in
clusters that are more frequently used. As a further feature
of the automatic determination of cluster characteristics, for
eXample, the depth of a sub-icon in relation to its cluster may
be determined according to the criteria, e.g., recency of use,
frequency of use, etc. For eXample, if an icon is used
for hours, With no I/ O activity, the document probably is not
as signi?cant as a document that is continually scrolled; and,
8) classes of Words in the document. For example, the
system may determine there are thirty instances of Words
dealing With computers, such as “printers”, “diskettes”, and
“RAM”, or there are tWenty instances of Words relating to
animals, such as “ducks”, “coWs”, and “geese”. It should be
understood that data representing factors relating to rela
tionship and strength of relationship data is stored in a
database, e.g., associated With the system 100 (FIG. 1(a)).
As described herein, the strength of association betWeen
elements may effect the clustering of graphical items that are
25
frequently, the system may automatically enlarge the icon
related by the associations. High association strengths may
lead to tighter clusters, and/or alter the factual dimension
and siZe scaling relationships betWeen many icons. The
association strength is determined by a function of the
characteristics of the associated pieces of information. For
eXample, association strength A12 representing a link or
and/or sWap positions With other icons Within the cluster, or
perform some other type of cluster alteration. HoWever, the
system may query the user before taking such action. It
should be understood that the operating system may auto
matically perform these determinations, e. g., at system boot
up or at any time, for each fractal cluster in a manner that is
transparent to the user, so as to continuously maintain free
space on the presentation GUI display. HoWever, the fractal
dimension characteristic of a cluster may be entirely deter
the device’s screen. A heuristic algorithm may be imple
mented for correlating relevance With amount of time on the
screen. For eXample, if the document stayed on the screen
35
mined by the user’s preference and manual manipulation
With mouse.
relation betWeen information item 1 and 2 is a function of
the number of times N each information item has been
accessed Weighted by the time since each access D so that
older accesses become less important. This is quanti?ed
according to equation 1 as folloWs:
A12=N1X(1/D1)XN2X(1/D2)
(1)
As mentioned, the system of the invention organiZes
Sometimes a user may access one piece of information
icons, Web links, teXt, etc. presented on a GUI so that related
or relevant information is presented in a useful manner.
folloWed immediately by another. This double access may
Accordingly, relevancy may be automatically determined
constitute a link.
Another eXample of an association function is governed
according to equation 2 as folloWs:
based upon combinations of various criteria such as the
information’s history of use, the content of the information,
etc. Additionally, the system may automatically cluster and
arrange icons and other graphical items that represent infor
45
mation With similar characteristics or that have some asso
ciation or linkage, for eXample, When a user often selects one
Where N1 is the number of times a particular individual has
item and subsequently selects another item. As another
eXample, the system may cluster together all items that Were
e-mailed the information represented by icon 1, N2 is the
created on the same date, or all items related by the nature
information represented by icon 2, C1 is the number of times
computer-related Words (like “RAM” and “diskette”) are
present in the information represented by icon 1, and C2 is
the number of times computer-related Words (like “RAM”
and “diskette”) are present in the information represented by
number of times the particular individual e-mailed the
of their content, or all items not accessed for over thirty (30)
days, for eXample.
Particularly, a relationship and strength of relationship
(Which may be mapped to the spatial characteristics of the
cluster) may be determined from one or more factors such 55 icon 2.
According to the invention, association strength may be
further determined by factors such as: 1) characteristics of
as: 1) the number of times the information has been accessed
by the user or by others for eXample, a document that has
been accessed more than ?ve times in the past may be more
relevant to a user’s needs than a document accessed only
once. Therefore, all icons representing such information
past link traversals, e.g., the number, frequency, and recency
of traversals; 2) relationship strength of the linked informa
tion; and, 3) a mathematical relationship betWeen the num
may be automatically clustered together, With the siZe of the
icon related to the number of past accesses; 2) the last time
ber of accesses of each of the linked units (e.g., documents)
the information Was accessed; 3) the time the user, or others,
link itself, therefore, taking into account the relative impor
have spent vieWing or editing the document; 4) the docu
ment’s creation date; 5) the number of times the information
has been forWarded to others; 6) the dates a document has
been forWarded to another person and the precise nature of
and the number of accesses and frequency of access of the
65
tance of the link With respect to the connected information.
FIG. 4(c) is an illustrative ?oW diagram depicting the use
of association strengths in determining organiZation and
clustering of items. FIG. 4(c), step 62 indicates the optional
US 6,426,761 B1
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10
step of having a user enter a strength criteria, e.g., via a
and/or positioning needed based on past magni?cation and
positioning experiences, a parameter specifying the rate at
Which the cluster has added icons through time, the names
(or other identifying information) of other clusters that may
be related to the current cluster being queried, suggestions
for changing the cluster’s spatial characteristics if there is
pop-up display WindoW (FIG. 3(a)), and, optional step 64
indicates a user selection of an association strength function,
e.g., such as provided in equations 1) and 2) described
herein, that map parameters to association strength. As
indicated at step 66, the system may automatically deter
dif?culty vieWing the cluster’s subicons, the geographical
mine the best association strength function and/or criteria to
implement based on a user’s history of use. For example, if
an executive rarely creates a document, but is spending 90%
of the time vieWing documents, the system learns and does
locations and other information relating to icons that repre
sent links to remote Web pages, the predicted link access
10
not consider parameters relevant to document alteration. The
overall association strength may thus be determined using
criteria supplied by the user and by criteria supplied by the
system and/or some function relating the tWo. It should be
understood that the collective behavior of many users may 15
alter the association strength function, as Well. Furthermore,
the system may infer association strength functions based on
user’s input including a user explicitly noting that a particu
lar document is relevant. Association strength may addition
ally be based on user’s or users’ voting. In response to the
user selection (steps 62, 64) or system determination (step
66) of an association strength function, the system queries an
information database for ascertaining data accumulated by
the system corresponding to the relevant factors speci?ed in
the association strength function, e.g., time the user has
time for icons representing links to remote Web pages, and
any other attributes that may be used to automatically adjust
the fractal dimension or other parameter controlling the
spatial extent and nesting of the cluster. A user may utiliZe
the parameter information to quickly understand hoW com
plex the cluster is Without having to visualiZe all the sub
icons.
Furthermore, the system of the invention enables users to
navigate through a cluster, e.g., in order to search out and
access a desired icon, program, text, Web-link, etc. In the
manner depicted at steps 40 and 42 of the How chart of FIG.
4(a), a user may navigate through a cluster, for example, by
25
spent vieWing data, etc. Accordingly, the system organiZes
and clusters the graphical elements, icons, links, etc., or
alters existing cluster characteristics, e.g., by changing the
dragging a mouse over the cluster. Then, depending upon the
characteristics of the cluster as automatically determined in
the manner described With reference to FIG. 4(b), the system
may alter the vieW or characteristics of the cluster, e.g.,
provide any magni?cation or translation, as indicated at step
44. As further indicated at step 43, the system may auto
matically detect the need to alter the vieW or cluster
fractal dimension, according to the database query results.
characteristics, e.g., by predicting an icon is relevant,
One bene?t of the use of fractal dimension is that a single
parameter may be used to control and characteriZe the
spatial arrangement of icons, WindoWs, Web-links, and text,
important, or likely to be used at the current time. In
response to this automatic detection, the system then auto
matically Zooms in on a sub-icon at step 44. Thus, for
on the display, i.e., the look (e.g. nesting) of an in?nite
example, if an icon B has been used 90% of the time after
number of sub-icons. This is because the fractal dimension
the user has selected icon A, the system may Zoom in on icon
characteriZes the siZe scaling behavior of the pattern Which 35 B once it has detected the user has selected icon A. As
another example, smaller icons may change brightness or
other graphical attribute during search operations so that a
user is visually guided to sub-icons of interest. Thus, in order
to facilitate identi?cation of sub-icons, sub-sub-icons, etc.
during a search, for example, the system, as shoWn in FIG.
value gives an indication of the degree to Which the pattern
?lls the plane, and hoW the pattern “behaves” through
different magni?cations. Another parameter, the radius of
gyration, “Rg,” may be used to quantify the spatial extent of
the icon cluster in the plane and may be computed using
1(a), provides a visual display portion 140 indicating a
degree of sub-icon brightening, e.g., represented as a high
mathematics knoWn to those skilled in the art. Particularly,
small, compact patterns have small values of radius of
gyration, While large, extended patterns have large values of
radius of gyration. One other measure of spatial extent is the
“standard deviation,” Which additionally represents the
spread of data.
45
lighted area 141 in FIG. 1(a) . Thus, for example, if the
system knoWs that a certain subicon is likely to be used
because of a user’s past history, a system-generated Warning,
a response to a user’s query to ?nd the icon, etc., then the
parameters regarding fractal icon clusters, for example, by
system Will graphically distinguish the subicon by changing
its brightness, blinking, color, intensity, siZe, shape or other
moving a mouse over the cluster and clicking a mouse
graphical characteristic, etc. all to facilitate searching of the
resulting in a display portion for reading the cluster char
acteristics. For example, FIGS. 1(a) and 1(b) illustrate
respectively, the provision of a readout display portions 130,
230, of the GUI screen for displaying cluster parameter
icon on the GUI. In a virtual reality system, the icon may
also change its tactile and audio characteristics such as
In the preferred embodiment, users may query various
temperature, malleability, squashiness, squeakiness, sound
emission, etc. Additionally, if desired, the fractal cluster may
information. As shoWn in the detailed information readout
display portion 500 (pop-up WindoW) of FIG. 3(b), query
be moved as a unit using the mouse so that all sub-icons
55
able parameters include: the number of total icons in the
cluster 510; the fractal dimension of a cluster 500; the radius
of gyration or other spatial characteristics 530; the number
move together.
As part of the system navigation, the system may imple
ment a passWord protection mechanism restricting access to
restricted functions (such as access to the desktop, softWare,
of “invisible” (hidden) icons 540; and, any other cluster
data . . . ) represented in the cluster. PassWords may consist
attributes 550 such as: average creation date of the infor
of selecting or dragging a plurality of icons across different
siZe scales. In order to enter the “fractal passWord”, the user
may have to magnify regions of the cluster in order to select
mation represented by all icons in the cluster; average
creation date of the icons in the cluster; the nature and siZe
of the information represented by the cluster; the number of
smaller icons thus, enhancing security. Thus, a passWord
times the information has been accessed in the cluster by the
may comprise implementing steps such as selecting a large
icon, then Zooming to an icon not initially visible, then
selecting this tiny icon, then demagnifying the cluster to
select another icon, Which is then dragged to another icon in
user or others; the last time information in the cluster Was 65
accessed, the length of time the user, or others, spent
navigating the cluster; the most likely magni?cation level
US 6,426,761 B1
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12
the cluster or another cluster. This entire sequence of
means such as by dragging the mouse (not shoWn) over the
selecting, Zooming, dragging, etc., provides a secure pass
Word that Would be hard to detect, for example, by someone
casually observing a user entering the passWord. As an
such as shoWn in FIG. 5, may be dragged over a region of
the text to reveal smaller text. The degree of magni?cation
region to be magni?ed. Alternatively, the magni?er icon 620
example, if the user remembered that a red icon should be
may be speci?ed by numeric, mouse-gestural, graphical
selected next in a sequence, the user may also remember
slider, or other means. With this approach the degree of text
Where to look for it (e.g., it may be invisible in the current
nesting can be quite deep. The computer may automatically
vieW) Whereas an observer may have difficulty searching
though a plurality of subicons. This Would be akin to a user
remembering positions on a local street map that Would be
hard for a stranger, unfamiliar With the local area, to
enlarge text based on predicted needs of the user or by other
criteria. If a user searches for a particular text string, the
10
security mechanism implemented in the system of the inven
tion. As shoWn in FIG. 4(e), at step 50, the user may select
an icon from a fractal cluster, and, at step 52, the system
15
As mentioned herein, a bene?t of the fractal text arrange
is so authoriZed, i.e., the user’s passWord is detected, as
needed. Moreover, a user may quickly (spatially) cluster text
and understand relationships betWeen text. As described
shoWn at step 54, then the user is granted access to the
selected item. OtherWise, the user may change the vieW of
the cluster, at step 56, for example, in order to select another
icon. The process may be repeated until the correct combi
nation of steps are performed in satisfaction of the authori
herein, the density and degree to Which the text changes siZe
relative to the larger text may be controlled by a fractal
dimension parameter. Users may query various parameters
Zation requirement.
regarding the text cluster, for example, by moving a mouse
25 over the cluster and clicking a mouse button. As in the case
of the desktop and Webtop shoWn respectively in FIGS. 1(a)
and 1(b), queryable parameters include: the fractal
devices alloWing users to Write on touch-sensitive screens.
dimension, radius of gyration, number of “invisible” text
Words, and number of total text pieces in the cluster. In this
Still other devices like the CrossPad, for example, may be
used for annotation using an ordinary pen on paper. This
motivates the need for improved systems and means for
manner, a user may quickly understand hoW complex the
text cluster is. If desired, the fractal cluster may be moved
organiZing and annotating documents on pen-based
computers, in addition to computers/computing devices
as a unit using the mouse so that all sub-text moves together.
equipped With alphanumeric keyboard entry.
This is an additional advantage of using multiresolution text
over prior art Where many pieces of text cannot be spatially
FIG. 5 illustrates the WindoW 600 of a text editor or other
text/diagram display. Often it is useful to annotate text or
already described for FIG. 3(b) for icons.
ment as shoWn in FIG. 5, is that the user never runs out of
document space, as smaller and smaller text may be used as
determines if the user is so authoriZed to continue. If the user
Increasingly, users are provided With computer and com
puting devices that enables input via a pen device, With some
system may automatically enlarge the smaller text, if
necessary, for readability. As shoWn in FIG. 5, a readout
display portion 630 may be provided to inform the user
about various characteristics of the multiresolution text
(nesting, creation date, etc.) in a manner analogous to that
remember. The invisibility of certain elements of the pass
Word enhance its security as does the dragging of elements
across siZe scales. FIG. 4(e) illustrates a fractal passWord
35 close to one another.
other documents using pen-based input (such as provided by
As in the case of the computer Web-top/desktop described
a CrossPad coupled to a notebook computer or numerous
herein With respect to FIGS. 4(a)—4(b), the computer system
may determine What fractal dimension (or radius of gyration
portable devices that permit users to use a stylus directly on
an LCD display) or by using a standard keyboard. HoWever,
one problem is that there may be little space in the margins
(or other areas) of a document to add annotation. According
to the invention, a “multiple-resolution annotation” function
is provided that enables users to add information (text,
images, handWritten diagrams) at smaller siZe scales, to a
or other measure of spatial distribution) to use based on
criteria such as: the average text cluster creation date,
hierarchy, frequency of vieWing, recency of use, siZe of
information represented by the microtext, or other parameter
characteriZing the cluster—or the dimension may be entirely
determined by the user’s preference and manual manipula
text document. FIG. 5 illustrates such a “fractal text” 45 tion With mouse. For example, if all the text in a cluster has
not been vieWed for a long time, the fractal dimension of the
arrangement comprising a set 610 of one or more pieces of
text at different siZes. As shoWn in FIG. 5, the main text area
cluster may automatically change Which gives the cluster a
different appearance to the user and potentially an ef?cient
612 is normal-siZed, Whereas other multiresolution text 615
Way to free up screen display real-estate for text in other
appears in diminishing siZes. Thus, in an example scenario,
clusters that are more frequently used. For example, a loW
a science professor may provide a ?rst set of typed lecture
notes in the main text area 612 for students Which may be
fractal dimension may visually appear as a diffuse collection
of text While a high fractal dimension Would visually cor
displayed on a student’s computer display 600. A student
may annotate the text using a pen-based system in Which the
respond to a denser, more highly nested cluster.
In order to aid in the manual placement of text Within a
annotation 617 is made at a smaller-siZe scale. The user may
magnify the margin before adding the annotation. Additional
annotations 619 may be made at ever diminishing siZe
scales, and the spatial relations betWeen the microannota
tions may suggest a relatedness to the larger annotations.
Text siZe may also be used to automatically indicate creation
date, hierarchy, frequency of use or other parameter—or the
siZe may be entirely determined by the user’s preference.
55
fractal cluster, the operating system may draW empty
“ghost” regions in appropriate positions so that the user has
a visual target to Which he may drag text. For example, these
empty regions may be portrayed by a faded dotted square to
Which an actual text may be dragged using a mouse.
As described herein With reference to the desktop/Webtop
applications, the users may alter the fractal dimension of text
For example, a user may Wish to place more frequently read
text in a larger siZe. Less read text may be positioned at
clusters by various means such as by inputting numbers,
smaller siZes. If the text is annotated by multiple users, each
Alternatively, the computer system may adjust this
gesturing With a mouse, or manipulation a graphical slider.
65 parameter, as needed to conserve space, suggest relations, or
user may add text at a different siZe scale.
In order to access and see smaller text, the user may
improve user interactions. Thus, the invention has particular
magnify regions of the document display using a variety of
relevance to smaller devices, such as pervasive lap/palm-top
US 6,426,761 B1
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13
computer and other hand-held computer devices having
pen-based or keyboard based inputs, because available
b) means for generating a cluster of items comprising
graphical or teXtual elements for display via said GUI
siZe scales, each item in a cluster representing infor
mation having a degree of relatedness With information
screen real estate is at a premium. For example, as shoWn in
FIG. 6, the invention may be implemented to provide a teXt
multiresolution annotation feature 710 for portable and
represented by other items in said cluster; and
c) means for automatically controlling the spatial eXtent
lap/palm-top computer device displays 700.
This invention may also be useful on loW-resolution
of and arrangement of items Within a cluster according
to a speci?ed criteria via said GUI, Which spatial eXtent
displays such as TVS and kiosks, in Which the ability to
condense information into magnifyable clusters Would help
and arrangement is controlled to provide optimal dis
play and conserve screen display space on said display
terminal.
2. The system according to claim 1, Wherein a cluster is
advertisers, system programmers, and users to accommodate
a lot of information on a limited display.
The present invention is capable of running on any
general purpose computer system or computer controlled
GUI (e.g., a television or virtual reality system), including
GUIs that have the ability to present multimedia and/or
15
generated according to a fractal arrangement, said spatial
eXtent and arrangement of items being controlled according
to relatedness of information represented by said cluster
virtual reality information. As shoWn in FIG. 1(a), a com
items.
puter system 100 comprises a central processing unit (CPU)
3. The system according to claim 2, Wherein said spatial
cluster includes icons representing teXt, said generating
means enabling generation of multi-resolution annotations,
101, memory storage device 103, one or more monitors or
graphical interfaces 102, and selection device such as a
20
including When said multi-resolution annotations are per
mouse 107 or speech recognition system (not shoWn). In one
embodiment, the computer system may comprise a IBM
formed With pervasive computing style inputs, comprising
RISC SYSTEM/6000. The mouse 107 may be used to select
teXtual information according to a fractal appearance.
GUI objects 110, like icons 115. On an IBM RISC System/
6000, multiple monitors may be controlled by multiple
25
4. The system according to claim 1, Wherein said means
for controlling includes means for entering said speci?ed
monitor adaptor cards (not shoWn) such as the IBM RISC
criteria via said GUI.
System/6000 Color Graphics Display Adaptor. The com
puter system 100 may also have audio input/output
capability, e. g., by implementing an ActionMedia II Display
Adaptor (not shoWn) as described in the IBM ActionMedia
II Technical Reference Which provides for audio/video play
back. This adaptor may also be used to display TV
broadcasts/signals, e.g. “picture-in-picture” of TV
broadcasts, and other full motion video and sound audio/
5. The system according to claim 4, Wherein said speci?ed
criteria comprises a single spatial determination parameter
30
6. The system according to claim 5, Wherein said spatial
determination parameter includes a fractal dimension for
35
visual on the monitors.
In addition, speech synthesis or speech recognition capa
bility (not shoWn) may be provided, in the form of an IBM
VoiceType Dictation Adaptor, for eXample.
said cluster, said fractal dimension determining a siZe scal
ing behavior of said cluster.
7. The system according to claim 5, Wherein said spatial
determination parameter includes a radius of gyration for
qualifying spatial eXtent of a cluster.
8. The system according to claim 4, Wherein said prede
40
Alternately, the CPU 101 may be connected via a netWork
adaptor (not shoWn) to connect the system 100 to a netWork.
NetWork adaptors are Well knoWn and may include, for
termined criteria includes an average creation date of infor
mation represented by items included in said cluster.
9. The system according to claim 4, Wherein said prede
termined criteria includes a frequency of use of items in said
cluster.
example, token ring adaptors, ethernet adaptors, and
modems. The system 100 may be connected to other target
monitors through a client/server netWork (or LAN add
for indicating said spatial eXtent of a cluster to be displayed.
45
10. The system according to claim 4, Wherein said pre
determined criteria includes a determination of hoW recent
an item in said cluster Was accessed.
number).
11. The system according to claim 4, Wherein said pre
Systems that may be used to display graphical images,
like icons and WindoWs, are Well knoWn. Thus, GUIs may be
used to control any apparatus having a monitor. In the ?eld
determined criteria includes a function specifying factors
de?ning an association strength betWeen items in a cluster,
of television (TV), channel selection may be performed by
said system including means for accumulating data relating
to factors speci?ed in said association strength function.
selecting an icon consisting of the animated video broadcast
on a given channel frequency.
While the invention has been particularly shoWn and
described With respect to illustrative and preformed embodi
ments thereof, it Will be understood by those skilled in the
art that the foregoing and other changes in form and detail
may be made therein Without departing from the spirit and
scope of the invention Which should be limited only by the
scope of the appended claims.
12. The system according to claim 11, Wherein a factor
55
Was accessed.
13. The system according to claim 4, Wherein an item
represents an element selected from the group consisting of
teXt, and Web-links, data, programs and information repre
60
viding a graphical user interface (GUI);
sented by iconic graphical elements.
14. The system according to claim 4, further including
means for querying a value of said spatial determination
parameter via said GUI.
Having thus described our invention, What We claim as
neW, and desire to secure the Letters Patent is:
1. An information presentation system comprising:
a) computer system including display terminal for pro
includes determination of hoW recent an item in said cluster
65
15. The system according to claim 4, further including
means for indicating via said GUI locations at or near a
cluster Where neWly created items may be included.
US 6,426,761 B1
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16
16. The system according to claim 4, further including
association strength betWeen items in a cluster, said method
means for magnifying fractal item clusters for facilitating
user vieWing of spatially dense clusters scaled doWn in siZe.
17. The system according to claim 4, Wherein said gen
erating means includes means for automatically determining
further including step of accumulating data relating to
factors speci?ed in said association strength function, and
storing said data in a memory storage device.
30. The method according to claim 29, Wherein a factor
a depth of an icon in relation to a cluster, and initiating
enlargement of an icon based on use of said icon.
Was accessed.
18. The system according to claim 4, Wherein said gen
erating means includes means for automatically initiating
eXchange of a position of a ?rst icon With another icon based
includes determination of hoW recent an item in said cluster
10
on use of said ?rst icon.
19. The system according to claim 4, The system accord
ing to claim 3, further including a passWord protection
mechanism requiring a user to select one or more pre
15
31. The method according to claim 29, Wherein said
accessing step further includes querying said memory stor
age device for ascertaining accumulated data of factors
speci?ed in said association strength function.
32. The method according to claim 23, further including
the step of enabling user requests of criteria implemented for
controlling said spatial cluster via said GUI, and displaying
determined items included Within one or more clusters,
said criteria via said GUI.
change a magni?cation of a cluster, and perform one of
manipulating said selected item for placement in a cluster at
33. The method according to claim 23, further including
the step of magnifying said clusters in said GUI to generate
display of items at different fractal dimensions.
34. The method according to claim 23, Wherein said
a different siZe scale, or selecting another item in a cluster at
a different siZe scale Without manipulating said selected
item.
20. The system according to claim 1, Wherein said com
generating step further includes the step of automatically
determining a depth of an icon in relation to a cluster, and
initiating enlargement of an icon based on use of said icon.
puter system supports Web broWser for W connectivity,
said spatial cluster including icons representing a Web-page
25
link.
21. Method for presenting information on a computer
35. The method according to claim 23, further including
the step of implementing a passWord protection mechanism
requiring a user to select one or more pre-determined items
display device comprising the steps of:
included Within one or more clusters, change a magni?ca
a) generating a cluster of items comprising graphical or
tion of a cluster, and perform one of manipulating said
teXtual elements for display via a GUI each item in a
selected item for placement in a cluster at a different siZe
scale, or selecting another item in a cluster at a different siZe
cluster representing information having a degree of
relatedness With information represented by other items
in said cluster; and
b) accessing criteria for automatically controlling a spatial
eXtent and arrangement of items Within a cluster; and
35
scale Without manipulating said selected item.
36. The method according to claim 23, further including
the step of enabling generation of multi-resolution annota
tions in a document to be displayed, said multi-resolution
annotations comprising textual information according to a
fractal appearance.
c) automatically controlling the spatial eXtent of and
arrangement of items Within a cluster according to said
accessed criteria, Which spatial eXtent and arrangement
is controlled to provide optimal display and conserve
37. A program storage device readable by a machine,
tangibly embodying a program of instructions executable by
the machine to perform method steps for presenting infor
screen display space on said display terminal.
22. The method according to claim 21, Wherein prior to
said generating step, a step of indicating via said GUI one or
mation on a computer display device presenting a graphical
more potential locations for receiving one or more items to
user interface (GUI), said method steps comprising:
a) generating a cluster of items comprising graphical or
be organiZed Within a said cluster.
45
teXtual elements for display via a GUI each item in a
23. The method according to claim 21, further including
controlling said spatial eXtent and arrangement of items in a
cluster according to relatedness of information represented
by said items.
24. The method according to claim 23, Wherein said
cluster representing information having a degree of
relatedness With information represented by other items
in said cluster; and
b) accessing criteria for automatically controlling a spatial
eXtent and arrangement of items Within a cluster; and
controlling step includes step of entering said speci?ed
c) automatically controlling the spatial eXtent of and
criteria via said GUI.
arrangement of items Within a cluster according to said
25. The method according to claim 24, Wherein said
criteria comprises a single spatial determination parameter
for indicating said spatial eXtent of a cluster to be displayed.
26. The method according to claim 24, Wherein said
criteria includes an average creation date of information
represented by items included in said cluster.
27. The method according to claim 24, Wherein said
criteria includes a frequency of use of items in said cluster.
28. The method according to claim 24, Wherein said
accessed criteria, Which spatial eXtent and arrangement
55
is automatically controlled to provide optimal display
and conserve screen display space on said display
terminal.
38. The program storage device readable by a machine
according to claim 37, Wherein prior to said generating step,
a step of indicating via said GUI one or more potential
locations for receiving one or more items to be organiZed
Within a said cluster.
criteria includes a determination of hoW recent an item in
39. The program storage device readable by a machine
said cluster Was accessed.
65 according to claim 38, Wherein said criteria comprises a
29. The method according to claim 24, Wherein said
criteria includes a function specifying factors de?ning an
single spatial determination parameter for indicating said
spatial eXtent of a cluster to be displayed.
US 6,426,761 B1
17
18
40. The program storage device readable by a machine
function specifying factors de?ning an association strength
according to claim 37, further including controlling said
betWeen items in a cluster, said method further including
spatial eXtent and arrangement of items in a cluster accord
41. The program storage device readable by a machine
step of accumulating data relating to factors speci?ed in said
association strength function, and storing said data in a
memory storage device.
according to claim 37, Wherein said controlling step includes
step of entering said speci?ed criteria via said GUI.
46. The program storage device readable by a machine
according to claim 41, Wherein a factor includes determi
ing to relatedness of information represented by said items.
42. The program storage device readable by a machine
according to claim 41, Wherein said criteria includes an
nation of hoW recent an item in said cluster Was accessed.
10
average creation date of information represented by items
included in said cluster.
43. The program storage device readable by
according to claim 41, Wherein said criteria
frequency of use of items in said cluster.
44. The program storage device readable by
according to claim 41, Wherein said criteria
a machine
includes a
strength function.
15
a machine
includes a
determination of hoW recent an item in said cluster Was
accessed.
45. The program storage device readable by a machine
according to claim 41, Wherein said criteria includes a
47. The program storage device readable by a machine
according to claim 41, Wherein said accessing step further
includes querying said memory storage device for ascertain
ing accumulated data of factors speci?ed in said association
48. The program storage device readable by a machine
according to claim 41, further including the step of enabling
user requests of criteria implemented for controlling said
spatial cluster via said GUI, and displaying said criteria via
said GUI.
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION
PATENT NO. : 6,426,761 B1
DATED
: July 30, 2002
INVENTOR(S) : Dimitri Kanevsky et al.
Page 1 of 1
It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent is
hereby corrected as shown below:
Title page,
Item [56], References Cited, U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS,
“6,262,597” should read -- 6,252,597 -
Column 1
Line 40, “GUT” should read -- GUI -
Signed and Sealed this
Second Day of December, 2003
JAMES E. ROGAN
Director ofthe United States Patent and Trademark O?‘i'ce
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