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Overall Objectives

In an increasing number of domains, computer users are faced with large datasets, that are often interlinked and organized according to elaborate structures thanks to new data models such as those that are arising with the development of, e.g., the Web of Data. Rather than seeing the inherent complexity of those data models as a hindrance, we aim at leveraging it to design new interactive systems that can better assist users in their data understanding and processing tasks.

These “Data-centric Interactive Systems” aim at providing users with the right information at the right time, presenting it in the most meaningful manner, and letting users efficiently manipulate, edit and share these data with others. This entails minimizing the effort required to retrieve and relate data from relevant sources; displaying data using visual presentation techniques that match the data's characteristics and the users' tasks; and providing users with means of interacting with the data that effectively support their train of thought.

Our approach is based on the idea of bringing the fields of Web data management and Human-computer interaction , closer together, based on the strong belief that they have the potential to cross-fertilize one another. User interface design is essential to the management and understanding of large, interlinked datasets. Interlinked datasets enriched with even a small amount of semantics have the potential to help create interfaces that let users analyze and manipulate data in a more efficient manner by providing them with, e.g, more relevant query results and giving them efficient means to navigate and relate those results. Our ultimate, long-term goal is to design interactive systems that make it as straightforward to manipulate large webs of data as spreadsheets do for tabular data.