Scatter/Gather Browser on Computing & Information Sciences

Scatter/Gather Browser

Scatter/Gather Browser

Live demo at:

How to search?
Terms used in the Scatter/Gather Browser
About Scatter/Gather Browser
About this Project

Searching for data using Scatter/Gather Browser:

  1. The initial index page of the Scatter/Gather browser shows 7 clusters/nodes displaying 7 main topics of the database. These clusters are arranged near or away from each other, based on the similarity in the information represented by them.

  2. Moving the cursor over a specific cluster displays more information about it in the middle information window.

  3. The list of articles related to the shown clusters is displayed in the bottom window. The article list shows first 10 most relevant topics with brief description and link to the related detailed information. Links to the further article lists is present at the bottom of the article list.

  4. For searching further on the desired topic, select one or more clusters by clicking on them and click on the Gather and Scatter button on the top left side of the window, so that the new clusters showing information related to the selected cluster/s are displayed.

  5. Blue border around the cluster indicates that it is selected for further iteration. To deselect a selected cluster, click once again on the same cluster.

  6. The number of clusters to be displayed can be changed in the range of 3 to 15 by using the slider provided on the top right side of the window.

  7. At any time, if the user clicks on "Reset", then the browser goes back to the default main page.

  8. Back button is provided to go back to the previous cluster selection.

Features of the Scatter/Gather Browser:

  • Back button: Back button can be used if a user wants to go back to the previous cluster selection at any time in the Scatter/Gather process.

  • Cluster: Cluster is a group of documents in the database which contain similar information.

  • Cluster color: The color of the cluster is selected on the basis of the number of times the cluster has been viewed.

  • Cluster position: The position of one cluster in relation to another depends on the similarity in the information represented by those two clusters.

  • Gather and Scatter button: This button is used for iterating through the database after selecting the required cluster/s. If the button is clicked without selecting any of the clusters, then error message is displayed asking user to select at least one cluster.

  • Home: The home button takes user back to the main introduction page of the Scatter/Gather browser.

  • Reset: This button resets the Scatter/Gather browser to its default initial state.

  • Slider: The slider is used to increase or decrease the number of clusters displayed on the screen after each iteration. Moving the slider to the left decreases the number of clusters displayed and vice-versa.

About Scatter/Gather Browser: -

Scatter/Gather browsing method was first proposed by Cutting, Karger, Pedersen, and Tukey (1992). In each iteration of this browsing method, the system scatters the dataset into a small number of clusters/groups, and presents short summaries of them to the user. The user can select one or more of the groups for future study. The selected groups are then gathered together and clustered again using the same clustering algorithm. With each successive iteration the groups become smaller and more focused. Iterations in this method can help users refine their queries and find the desired information from a large data collection.

About this Project: -

This project aims to implement a Scatter-Gather browser, a dynamic visualization for text navigation/search. Using visualization techniques, this browser will help users refine their search queries and narrow down search results interactively and visually. We are going to constraint ourselves to a smaller text corpus for proof of concept. We will modularize it to be able to attach to any text collections in the future.