Autodesk Research

Citeology: visualizing paper genealogy

Part of the Visualization Project

Update: We have submitted a Citeology paper to alt.CHI which you can download here.

Citeology looks at the relationship between research publications through their use of citations. The names of each of the 3,502 papers published at the CHI and UIST Human Computer Interaction (HCI) conferences between 1982 and 2010 are listed by year and sorted with the most cited papers in the middle. In total, 11,699 citations were made from one article to another within this collection. These citations are represented by the curved lines in the graphic, linking each paper to those that it referenced.

While you are waiting for the applet to load, here are some sample Citeologies:

Citeologies for "Tracking Menus", "Generalized Fisheye Views", and "Side Views"

Selecting a single paper lets you see the articles from the past that the paper referenced (in blue), and also the future articles which referenced it (in red). That first level of referenced and referencing papers could be considered the first generation of ancestors (i.e., parents) and descendants (i.e., children) of a paper. By extending the process further in direction we can see further generations (i.e., grandparents, grandchildren) of papers which the paper built from or inspired.

Zoomed in view of a high-resolution Citeology PDF file.

The Citeologies are shown at a relatively low resolution in the web page, but the program can also generate high resolution vector PDFs of the diagrams. You can download a sample PDF Citeology here (10MB) or by clicking on the above image.

Once loaded, the applet will appear in this space below:

Basic Usage

Hover over the paper titles to see the full name in a tooltip. Click on a paper to select it and show the paper's ancestors and descendants. The "Find Paper..." button in the top left allows you to search for a specific paper or author.

There are also buttons to set how many generations of descendants and ancestors to view, and the "Visit Paper Page" button to open up the associated ACM digital library page. (This feature sometimes gets foiled by pop-up blockers, so you might need to disable the blocker for this page. I've had the best luck using Firefox or Chrome.)

The "Generate PDF" button will create a vector file of the visualization on the screen allowing you to zoom in and read all of the paper titles. Once the PDF has been created it should open in your PDF viewer automatically.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Pressing the 1-8 keys will set the number of generations to a value between 1 and 8, and pressing '9' is the shortcut to see "All" generations. Pressing '0' will open the ACM digital library page for the selected paper. To open up a paper's ACM page without selecting it, press the '-' key while the paper's tooltip is visible.

To search for a paper, you can start typing when the applet has focus. (i.e., you don't need to click on the "Find Paper..." button if you don't want to.)

Overview Video


Please send any questions or feedback to Justin Matejka.

We are collecting anonymous usage information about how the Citeology tool is being used which we may look at for future research.

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