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SignalLens: Focus+Context Applied to Electronic Time Series

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1 Author(s)
Robert Kincaid ; Agilent Laboratories

Electronic test and measurement systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated in order to match the increased complexity and ultra-high speed of the devices under test. A key feature in many such instruments is a vastly increased capacity for storage of digital signals. Storage of 109 time points or more is now possible. At the same time, the typical screens on such measurement devices are relatively small. Therefore, these instruments can only render an extremely small fraction of the complete signal at any time. SignalLens uses a Focus+Context approach to provide a means of navigating to and inspecting low-level signal details in the context of the entire signal trace. This approach provides a compact visualization suitable for embedding into the small displays typically provided by electronic measurement instruments. We further augment this display with computed tracks which display time-aligned computed properties of the signal. By combining and filtering these computed tracks it is possible to easily and quickly find computationally detected features in the data which are often obscured by the visual compression required to render the large data sets on a small screen. Further, these tracks can be viewed in the context of the entire signal trace as well as visible high-level signal features. Several examples using real-world electronic measurement data are presented, which demonstrate typical use cases and the effectiveness of the design.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 6 )