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Polaris: A System for Query, Analysis, and Visualization of Multidimensional Relational Databases
January-March 2002 (vol. 8 no. 1)
pp. 52-65

Abstract—In the last several years, large multidimensional databases have become common in a variety of applications such as data warehousing and scientific computing. Analysis and exploration tasks place significant demands on the interfaces to these databases. Because of the size of the data sets, dense graphical representations are more effective for exploration than spreadsheets and charts. Furthermore, because of the exploratory nature of the analysis, it must be possible for the analysts to change visualizations rapidly as they pursue a cycle involving first hypothesis and then experimentation. In this paper, we present Polaris, an interface for exploring large multidimensional databases that extends the well-known Pivot Table interface. The novel features of Polaris include an interface for constructing visual specifications of table-based graphical displays and the ability to generate a precise set of relational queries from the visual specifications. The visual specifications can be rapidly and incrementally developed, giving the analyst visual feedback as they construct complex queries and visualizations.

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Index Terms:
Database visualization, database analysis, visualization formalism, multidimensional databases.
Citation:
Chris Stolte, Diane Tang, Pat Hanrahan, "Polaris: A System for Query, Analysis, and Visualization of Multidimensional Relational Databases," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 52-65, Jan.-March 2002, doi:10.1109/2945.981851
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