Gene Golovchinsky, Ph.D.

In Memoriam, 1965 - 2013

Gene Golovchinsky

Before his untimely passing in 2013, Gene was an active research scientist in the Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval community.  His work on Collaborative Exploratory Search and Querium sought to help people satisfy complex collaborative information seeking needs such as those that occur during e-discovery, academic research, and intelligence analysis.

Before that, Gene was the project leader and lead architect of the DICE usable conference room system, which controlled a variety of devices and applications to support users’ tasks in conference rooms, and the ReBoard whiteboard capture and retrieval system.  He also worked on collaborative data collection systems, web services platforms for mobile computing, distributed annotation systems, and freeform digital ink annotation for tablet computers.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he worked on a variety of pioneering pen-based tablet applications, including a pen-based document reader for an In-Q-Tel contract, and the XLibris active reading appliance. He also designed a client-server annotation storage architecture prototype in use in Fuji Xerox’s DocuWorks/ArcSuite product.

Before joining FXPAL in 1996, Gene earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles and Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Interactive Media Lab, part of the Human Factors/Ergonomics area at the University of Toronto.

Co-Authors

Publications

2000
Publication Details
  • In CHI 2000 Conference Proceedings, ACM Press, pp. 185-192, 2000.
  • Mar 31, 2000

Abstract

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This paper presents a method for generating compact pictorial summarizations of video. We developed a novel approach for selecting still images from a video suitable for summarizing the video and for providing entry points into it. Images are laid out in a compact, visually pleasing display reminiscent of a comic book or Japanese manga. Users can explore the video by interacting with the presented summary. Links from each keyframe start video playback and/or present additional detail. Captions can be added to presentation frames to include commentary or descriptions such as the minutes of a recorded meeting. We conducted a study to compare variants of our summarization technique. The study participants judged the manga summary to be significantly better than the other two conditions with respect to their suitability for summaries and navigation, and their visual appeal.
1999

From Reading to Retrieval: Freeform Ink Annotations as Queries

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of ACM SIGIR 99, ACM Press, pp. 19-25, 1999.
  • Aug 15, 1999

Abstract

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User interfaces for digital libraries tend to focus on retrieval: users retrieve documents online, but then print them out and work with them on paper. One reason for printing documents is to annotate them with freeform ink while reading. Annotation can help readers to understand documents and to make them their own. In addition, annotation can reveal readers' interests with respect to a particular document. In particular, it is possible to construct full-text queries based on annotated passages of documents. We describe an experiment that tested the effectiveness of such queries, as compared to relevance feedback query techniques. For a set of TREC topics and documents, queries derived from annotated passages produced significantly better results than queries derived from subjects' judgments of relevance.

Introducing a Digital Library Reading Appliance into a Reading Group.

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of ACM Digital Libraries 99, ACM Press, pp. 77-84, 1999.
  • Aug 11, 1999

Abstract

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How will we read digital library materials? This paper describes the reading practices of an on-going reading group, and how these practices changed when we introduced XLibris, a digital library reading appliance that uses a pen tablet computer to provide a paper-like interface. We interviewed group members about their reading practices, observed their meetings, and analyzed their annotations, both when they read a paper document and when they read using XLibris. We use these data to characterize their analytic reading, reference use, and annotation practices. We also describe the use of the Reader's Notebook, a list of clippings that XLibris computes from a reader's annotations. Implications for digital libraries stem from our findings on reading and mobility, the complexity of analytic reading, the social nature of reference following, and the unselfconscious nature of readers' annotations.

Printertainment: Printing With Interactive Cover Sheets.

Publication Details
  • In CHI 99 Extended Abstracts, ACM Press, pp. 240-241, 1999.
  • May 18, 1999

Abstract

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We explored a new type of user interface, interactive cover sheets: computer forms laid out on the banner pages of print jobs that people can mark on, scan back into a multifunction printer/scanner, and use as input to applications. Cover sheets are commonly strewn around printer rooms; with interactivity, they can let people see what others have to say, add their own comments, or play games, all while waiting for their print jobs. We designed three prototype applications and deployed them briefly in our research lab. We found that interactive cover sheets can be very appealing, that the sheets must be designed so that people can still identify these pages as cover sheets, and that the slow interaction cycle favors asynchronous applications.

As We May Read: The Reading Appliance Revolution.

Publication Details
  • Computer, Vol. 32, No. 1, January 1999, pp. 65-73.
  • Feb 1, 1999

Abstract

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Reading appliances allow people to work on electronic documents much as they would on paper. They therefore provide an alternative to the standard "browse or search and then print" model of reading online. By integrating a wide variety of document activities, such as searching, organizing, and skimming, and by allowing fluid movement among them, reading appliances eliminate disruptive transitions between paper and digital media.

Collaborating over Portable Reading Appliances.

Publication Details
  • In Personal Technologies, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1999.
  • Feb 1, 1999

Abstract

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Reading appliances or e-books hold substantial promise to help us collaborate. In this paper, we use a study of a group activity - a reading group that meets to discuss articles of mutual interest - to explore four scenarios for collaborating with e-books: (1) meetings and face-to-face discussions; (2) serendipitous sharing of annotations, as when we borrow a document from a colleague or buy a used book; (3) community-wide use of anonymous annotations to guide future readers; and (4) e-books as a basis for initiating interaction between people. In so doing, we describe some methods for implementing these facilities, and introduce design guidelines.
1998

Digital Library Information Appliances.

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Digital Libraries 98 (Pittsburgh, PA June 23-26), ACM Press, 1998, pp. 217-226.
  • Jun 23, 1998

Abstract

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Although digital libraries are intended to support education and knowledge work, current digital library interfaces are narrowly focused on retrieval. Furthermore, they are designed for desktop computers with keyboards, mice, and high-speed network connections. Desktop computers fail to support many key aspects of knowledge work, including active reading, free form ink annotation, fluid movement among document activities, and physical mobility. This paper proposes portable computers specialized for knowledge work, or digital library information appliances, as a new platform for accessing digital libraries. We present a number of ways that knowledge work can be augmented and transformed by the use of such appliances. These insights are based on our implementation of two research prototype systems: XLibris,™ an "active reading machine," and TeleWeb, a mobile World Wide Web browser.

Linking By Inking: Trailblazing in a Paper-like Hypertext

Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Hypertext '98 (Pittsburgh, PA), ACM Press, 1998, pp. 30-39.
  • Jun 20, 1998

Abstract

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"Linking by inking" is a new interface for reader-directed link construction that bridges reading and browsing activities. We are developing linking by inking in XLibris,™ a hypertext system based on the paper document metaphor. Readers use a pen computer to annotate page images with free-form ink, much as they would on paper, and the computer constructs hypertext links based on the ink marks. This paper proposes two kinds of reader-directed links: automatic and manual. Automatic links are created in response to readers' annotations. The system extracts the text near free-form ink marks, uses these terms to construct queries, executes queries against a collection of documents, and unobtrusively displays links to related documents in the margin or as "further reading lists." We also present a design for manual (ad hoc) linking: circling an ink symbol generates a multi-way link to other instances of the same symbol.

Beyond Paper: Supporting Active Reading with Free Form Digital Ink Annotations.

Publication Details
  • In CHI 97 Extended Abstracts, ACM Press, 1997, pp. 22-23.
  • Apr 18, 1998

Abstract

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Reading frequently involves not just looking at words on a page, but also underlining, highlighting and commenting, either on the text or in a separate notebook. This combination of reading with critical thinking and learning is called active reading [2]. To explore the premise that computation can enhance active reading we have built the XLibris™ "active reading machine." XLibris™ uses a commercial high-resolution pen tablet display along with a paper-like user interface to support the key affordances of paper for active reading: the reader can hold a scanned image of a page in his lap and mark on it with digital ink. To go beyond paper, XXLibris™ monitors the free-form ink annotations made while reading, and uses these to organize and to search for information. Readers can review, sort and filter clippings of their annotated text in a "Reader's Notebook." XLibris™ also searches for material related to the annotated text, and displays links to similar documents unobtrusively in the margin. XLibris™ demonstrates that computers can help active readers organize and find information while retaining many of the advantages of reading on paper.

XLibris: The Active Reading Machine.

Publication Details
  • CHI 98 Summary, ACM Press, 1998, pp. 22-23.
  • Apr 18, 1998

Abstract

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Active reading is the combination of reading with critical thinking and learning, and involves not just reading per se, but also underlining, highlighting and commenting. We have built the XLibris™ "Active Reading Machine" to explore the premise that computation can enhance the active reading process. XLibris™ uses a high-resolution pen tablet display along with a paper-like user interface to emulate the physical experience of reading a document on paper: the reader can hold a scanned image of a page in his lap and mark on it with digital ink. XLibris™ monitors free-form ink annotations made while reading, and uses these to organize and to search for information. Readers can review, sort and filter clippings of their annotated text in a "Reader's Notebook." Finally, XLibris™ searches for material related to the annotated text, and displays links unobtrusively in the margin. XLibris™ demonstrates that computers can help active readers organize and find information while retaining many of the advantages of reading on paper.

1997

Formal experiments in causal attire: Case studies in information exploration

Publication Details
  • New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia . Vol 3. (1997), Taylor Graham. pp. 123-158.
  • Jun 1, 1997

Abstract

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This paper addresses the issue of how research methodology can be developed for the specific needs of research into information exploration behavior, based on a four year program of research on individual strategies in information exploration. We propose a meta-experimental framework where research is carried out through a dynamic interaction between what and why questions, and between confirmatory and exploratory analyses. This approach preserves many of the advantages of formal experimentation, while permitting a more holistic examination of phenomena that is characteristic of ethnography. The application of the meta-theoretical framework is illustrated in three case studies that examined new information exploration functionalities and interfaces and their relationship to expertise and exploration strategy.

The Newspaper as an Information Exploration Metaphor

Publication Details
  • Journal of Information Processing & Management.33(5) pp. 663-683.
  • Jun 1, 1997

Abstract

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The newspaper represents a mature information presentation medium that is well-suited to the presentation of relatively short, loosely related pieces of text. This work examines the implementation of the newspaper metaphor in an information exploration interface. Based on an analysis of differences between electronic books and electronic newspapers, we submit that the newspaper metaphor is an appropriate interface paradigm for large-scale full-text databases. Similarities between newspapers and hypertext databases lead us to suggest that this metaphor is appropriate for large automatically-generated hypertexts, independent of the nature of their content. We describe VOIR, a software prototype that we have used as an electronic newspaper workbench. The program constructs newspaper pages interactively, and allows users to specify their information-seeking intent in a variety of ways, including graphical Boolean queries, hypertext links, and typed-in queries. Finally, we discuss some implications that this work has for hypertext and information retrieval in general.
Publication Details
  • In Proceedings of Hypertext 97, ACM Press, 1997, pp. 67-74.
  • Apr 5, 1997

Abstract

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Traditionally hypertexts have been limited in size by the manual effort required to create hypertext links. In addition, large hyper-linked collections may overwhelm users with the range of possible links from any node, only a fraction of which may be appropriate for a given user at any time. This work explores automatic methods of link construction based on feedback from users collected during browsing. A full-text search engine mediates the linking process. Query terms that distinguish well among documents in the database become candidate anchors; links are mediated by passage-based relevance feedback queries. The newspaper metaphor is used to organize the retrieval results. VOIR, a software prototype that implements these algorithms has been used to browse a 74,500 node (250MB) database of newspaper articles. An experiment has been conducted to test the relative effectiveness of dynamic links and user-specified queries. Experimental results suggest that link-mediated queries are more effective than user-specified queries in retrieving relevant information. The paper concludes with a discussion of possible extensions to the linking algorithms.
Publication Details
  • In CHI 97 Conference Proceedings, ACM Press, 1997, pp. 407-414.
  • Mar 21, 1997

Abstract

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Hypertext interfaces are considered appropriate for information exploration tasks. The prohibitively expensive link creation effort, however, prevents traditional hypertext interfaces from being used with large coherent collections of text. Such collections typically require query-based interfaces. This paper examines a hybrid approach: the system described here creates anchors dynamically based on users' queries, and uses anchor selection as a query expansion mechanism. An experiment was conducted to compare browsing behavior in query- and link-based interfaces. Results suggest that query-mediated links are as effective as explicit queries, and that strategies adopted by users affect performance. This work has implications for the design of information exploration interfaces; the dynamic link algorithms described here are being incorporated into a Web server.