Abstract

KUNUK NYKJÆR: Visualization of XML documents and transformations
(Under the direction of Thomas Hildebrand)

The study investigates whether it is feasible to make a generic interactive visualization of XML documents in practice, and it is investigated how bigraphs can be used for visualizing relational information for the XML data. XML documents can be complex, and for large XML documents it can be difficult to navigate and get an overview of the data. The idea is to explore visualization techniques as a solution to the problem.

This Thesis researches the information visualization theories and identifies the usable visualization styles to this subject. Different visual representation formats and transformation methods are investigated and the most suitable approach of these is identified.

The implementations for generating the visual representations of the XML documents and the applied algorithms for generating the visualizations are explained in detail. Six different styles of visualization methods have been implemented, and the format of the visual representation is the open standard format SVG. It is discovered that with a generic approach it is feasible in practice to visualize any type of XML document and apply visualization methods to illustrate the data structure and contents using one of the different visualization styles available. It is possible to get an overview of the structure by using interaction and different visualization methods. Different kinds of XML-based documents are tested on the available visualization styles, and an evaluation is given of the results and the usability of the visual representations. The implemented visualizations work best when the documents are not too big.

Some of the shortcomings of the applied technique for the prototype are explained, and some hindsight of how to improve the project is identified.

Keywords: Generic, XML Visualization, Transformation, Visual Representation, SVG, Bigraphs

Thesis PDF in Danish