Axel's Publication-Abstracts

Refereed Publications

Classifying Two Dimensional Gestures in Interactive Systems
Axel Kramer, International Gesture Workshop 1997, Bielefeld, (Germany)
Abstract This paper motivates and presents a classification scheme for two-dimensional gestures in interactive systems. Most pen-based systems allow the user to perform gestures in order to enter and execute commands, but the usage of gestures can be found in other interactive systems as well. Much research so far has been focused on how to implement two-dimensional gestures, how to recognize the users input, or what context to use gestures in.

Instead, the focus of this paper is to explore and classify interactive characteristics of two-dimensional gestures as they are used in interactive systems. The benefits for the field are three-fold. First, such a classification describes one design space for the usage of two-dimensional gestures in interactive systems and thus presents possible choices to system designers. Second, empirical researchers can make use of such a classification to make systematic choices about aspects of gesture based systems that are worth studying. Finally, it can serve as a starting point for drawing parallels and exploring differences to gestures used in three-dimensional interfaces.

Dynamic Interpretations in Translucent Patches
Axel Kramer, AVI96, Gubbio, (Italy)
Abstract Our goal is to empower individuals involved in design activities using the written medium, by amending it carefully with computational facilities. To preserve the fluidity and swiftness of design activities, we let users dynamically associate marks on the display surface with interpretations that provide interesting operations to the user.

Inherent to typical computer applications is a very static relationship between internal data structures and presentation. In contrast, applications in our system (we call them interpretations), have to be able to deal with a much more dynamic relationship between those areas.

This paper motivates this idea, presents challenges faced by such an approach, explains a framework for designing and implementing such interpretations, and illustrates how exemplary interpretations make use of this framework.

Supporting Design Activities in the Written Medium
Axel Kramer, CHI 95, Denver, (USA)
Doctoral Consortium Paper
Abstract The goal of this thesis is to empower individuals involved in design activities using the written medium. The aim is to preserve positive features of traditional written medium while enhancing them by computational components. Towards this goal, the thesis explores the role of the written medium in the design process, discusses prior art in support of such activities, and presents a framework to integrate computational components into the written medium.

The central idea of this work is to dissolve the static association between input marks and their interpretation and experiment with a dynamic, yet fluid, user driven association instead.

Translucent History
Andreas Genau, Axel Kramer, CHI 95, Denver, (USA)
Short Paper
Abstract This paper presents an approach that visualizes object history by using translucent presentations. It extends the typical sequential presentation of an object history by a concurrent presentation of the object contents through time.

Our goal is to enable the fluid refinement and animation of graphically presented ideas while exposing the changes to objects as a whole and not just in discrete steps.

Translucency, as a mechanism, works particulary well if the object content is sufficiently spatially distributed.

Translucent Patches -- Dissolving Windows
Axel Kramer, UIST 94, Marina del Rey (USA)
Abstract: This paper presents motivation, design, and algorithms for using and implementing translucent, non-rectangular patches as a substitute for rectangular opaque windows. The underlying metaphor is closer to a mix between the architects yellow paper and the usage of white boards, than to rectangular opaque paper in piles and folders on a desktop.

Translucent patches lead to a unified view of windows, sub-windows and selections, and provide a base from which the tight connection between windows, their content, and applications can be dissolved. It forms one aspect of on-going work to support design activities that involve "marking" media, like paper and white boards, with computers. The central idea of that research is to allow the user to associate structure and meaning dynamically and smoothly to marks on a display surface.

Tools for Constructing the Electronic Sketch Book of Thangka Painting
Axel Kramer & Ranjit Makkuni, TOOLS 89, Paris (France)
Abstract: The Electronic Sketch Book of Tibetan Thangka Painting Project is conceived as a way of using interactive computing and video technologies to preserve and disseminate the 2000 year old art form of Tibetan painting.

It takes form as an interactive museum installation by which museum goers can explore Thangka related topics. Its multi-media database includes video records of Thangka paintings, catalogs of painting elements, live recording of a master painter's composition process, curatorial analyses, and images of Tibetan cultural life. The database is used by the sketchbook in two ways: (1) curators author presentation materials of Thangka related topics; (2) museum goers explore the curators presentations.

This paper will describe authoring and presentation tools that are used in the construction of the sketch book. The tools are based on an experimental stable storage system that provides versioning capabilities. The system is implemented in the Smalltalk-80 environment.

Constraint Hierarchies
Alan Borning, Robert Duisberg, Bjorn Freeman-Benson, Axel Kramer, Michael Woolf, OOPSLA 1987, Orlando (USA)
Abstract: Constraints describe relations that must be maintained, and provide a useful tool for such applications as interactive simulations, algorithm animation, and graphical user interface construction. We describe a major overhaul and extension to the constraint satisfaction mechanism in ThingLab, a constraint-oriented simulation laboratory written in the Smalltalk-80 language. First, a specification is presented of constraint hierarchies. Such hierarchies include both required constraints and default constraints of differing strengths, thus adding considerable expressive power to the system. Second, an algorithm for satisfying constraint hierarchies is described. The new satisfier is substantially faster than the previous version, even though it also includes new functionality.

IconMaker -- Interactive User Interface Design
Axel Kramer, Proceedings of the IEEE Workshop on Visual Languages 1984, Hiroshima (Japan)
Abstract: This paper presents a concept and an implementation for structuring user interfaces and an interactive tool for creating and changing user interfaces, which are build up on a bitmap display with a keyboard and a pointing device. All items visible on the display are treated as objects (described by classes), with a certain knowledge about user interaction, dependencies to other objects and communication with the application. An interactive tool, the IconMaker, assists in defining classes which describe icons (items on the display) that are composed out of other icons. These may be created, positioned, sized, dependencies to other icons and the application may be defined, and finally a new class will be generated.
The system was developed on the top of an object oriented extension to C, which simulates many language concepts of Smalltalk-80, clearly with the lack of its programming environment

updated 11 March 1998, © 1995, 1996, 1997 by Axel Kramer