ACM Transactions on Information Systems, July 1999, Vol. 17, No. 3, 320-341. A short early version also appeared in ACM SIGMOD Record, Vol.26, No.1, pp. 75-81 March 1997, as Query Previews for Networked Information Systems: A Case Study with NASA Environmental Data by Doan, K., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B., Bruns, B.
HCIL-97-09, CS-TR-3792, UMIACS-TR-97-42, ISR-TR-97-57
There are numerous problems associated with formulating queries on networked information systems. These include data diversity, data complexity, network growth, varied user base, and slow network access. This paper proposes a new approach to a network query user interface which consists of two phases: query preview and query refinement. This new approach is based on the concepts of dynamic queries and query previews, which guides users in rapidly and dynamically eliminating undesired datasets, reducing the data volume to manageable size, and refining queries locally before submission over a network. Examples of 2 applications are given: a Restaurant Finder and prototype with NASA's Earth Observing Systems--Data Information Systems (EOSDIS). Data architecture is discussed and user's feedback is presented. Dynamic queries and query previews provide solutions to many existing problems in querying networked information systems.