Christian Hirsch

Christian Hirsch

Position:PhD Candidate
Email:c.hirsch@auckland.ac.nz
  
SupervisorsProf John Hosking and Prof John Grundy


 

Research Interests

Some of the topics and research areas I am interested in:


 

Visual Wikis

In my research I am exploring the concept of a "Visual Wiki" which is used to describe and implement web-based information and knowledge management applications. The concept combines visualizations, providing a high-level overview, and wiki pages, providing more detailed information, displayed in a focus-plus-context oriented format. By focusing on the integration of these two approaches (visual and textual), the Visual Wiki work explores synergies and demonstrates the value of the concept.

We have implemented a set of Visual Wikis, including Thinkbase and Thinkpedia which are publicly accessible, and ThinkFree a corporate Visual Wiki used at the University of Auckland. My latest work focuses on VikiBuilder a Visual Wiki meta-tool which provides end-user supported modeling and automatic generation of Visual Wiki instances. More about these projects below.

An overview of our Visual Wiki research can also be seen in the icon Visual Wiki Google Tech Talk given by John Hosking.
 
 

Projects

A list of Visual Wiki projects I am working on. More details can be found in the publications below.

Thinkbase

Thinkbase Thinkbase is a web application which allows to visually navigate and explore Freebase, an open, shared database of the world's knowledge. Freebase can also be described as a "Semantic Wiki". Thinkbase extracts the contents, including semantic relationships, from Freebase and visualizes them in an interactive graph representation. The visualizations, which are created using the Thinkmap visualization toolkit, are displayed along with the Freebase article, providing a focus-plus-context view. Users can navigate along the graph, expand parts of it, and filter the items displayed. If Freebase is a "database of the world's knowledge", then Thinkbase is a "mind map of the world's knowledge".[rww]

Thinkbase is available at: icon http://thinkbase.cs.auckland.ac.nz

Thinkpedia

Thinkpedia Thinkpedia is a web application which allows to visually navigate and explore Wikipedia. The basic concept of this tool is quite similar to Thinkbase. Thinkpedia takes the unstructured Wikipedia content, extracts key concepts and their semantics, and visualizes them in an interactive graph-based representation. The semantic extraction is done using the SemanticProxy web service which is part of the Calais initiative. The visualizations are created using the Thinkmap visualization toolkit. Users can navigate along the graph and filter it according to the relevance of items.

Thinkpedia is available at: icon http://thinkpedia.cs.auckland.ac.nz

ThinkFree

ThinkFree ThinkFree is an industrial Visual Wiki application which provides a way for end-users to better explore knowledge of IT Enterprise Architecture assets that is held within a large enterprise wiki. The application was motivated by the difficulty users were facing navigating and understanding enterprise architecture information in a large corporate wiki at the University of Auckland. ThinkFree provides a graph-based interactive visualization of IT assets which are described using the Freebase Semantic Wiki. The application is used to visualize relationships between those assets, navigate between them, and integrate them with resources such as the wiki, the intranet, and SharePoint.
 

VikiBuilder

VikiBuilder VikiBuilder is an early prototype of a Visual Wiki meta-tool which provides end-user supported modeling and automatic generation of Visual Wiki instances. Building on the Visual Wiki work and experience (e.g. the three examples above) we have developed a visual language for describing Visual Wiki instances. Within the VikiBuilder meta-tool users are able to model Visual Wikis and all of their properties using that language. Finally a new Visual Wiki instance can automatically be generated from that model.
 
 
 

Other Projects

Other Visual Wiki projects include e.g. ProcessMapper a business process management application which integrates visual representations of business processes with a documentation wiki, and KaitoroBase a Visual Wiki for software architecture documentations.
 
 

Publications

Hirsch, C., Hosking, J.G., Grundy, J.C. VikiBuilder: end-user specification and generation of Visual Wikis, In Proceedings of the 25th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2010), Antwerp, Belgium, 20-24 Sep, 2010, IEEE CS Press. icon PDF

Hirsch, C., Hosking, J.G., Grundy, J.C., Chaffe, T. ThinkFree: Using a Visual Wiki for IT Knowledge Management in a Tertiary Institution, In Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration (WikiSym 2010), Gdansk, Poland, Jul 7-9, 2010. icon PDF

Hirsch,C., Hosking, J.G., Grundy, J.C. VikiBuilder: Let's build a Visual Wiki, Poster and Demo Session at the 21st Australien Software Engineering Conference (ASWEC 2010), Auckland, New Zealand, Apr 6-9, 2010. icon PDF, icon Poster

Moon Ting Su, Hirsch, C., Hosking, J.G. KaitoroBase: Visual Exploration of Software Architecture Documents, Poster and Demo Session of the 24th IEEE/ACE International Conference on Automated Software Engineering (ASE 2009), Auckland, New Zealand, Nov 16-20, 2009. icon PDF, icon Poster

Hirsch, C., Hosking, J.G., Grundy, J.C. Interactive Visualization Tools for Exploring the Semantic Graph of Large Knowledge Spaces, 1st Int'l Workshop on Visual Interfaces to the Social and the Semantic Web (VISSW 2009), Sanibel Island, Florida, 8th February, 2009. icon PDF

Hirsch, C., Hosking, J.G., Grundy, J.C., Chaffe, T., MacDonald, D., and Halytskyy, Y. The Visual Wiki: A New Metaphor for Knowledge Access and Management, In Proceedings of the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2009), Big Island, Hawaii, Jan 5-8 2009, IEEE CS Press. Recipient of Best Paper Award. icon PDF

Hirsch, C., Grundy, J.C., Hosking, J.G. Thinkbase: A Visual Semantic Wiki, Poster and Demo Session at the 7th International Semantic Web conference (ISWC 2008), Karlsruhe, Germany, Oct 26-30, 2008. icon PDF, icon Poster

McCord G., Wuensche B., Plimmer B., Gilbert G., Hirsch C. A Pen and Paper Metaphor for Orchid Modeling, in 3rd International Conference on Computer Graphics Theory and Applications (GRAPP 2008), 2008. Funchal, Madeira, Portugal. pp. 119-124.

Hirsch, C. Tool Integration for Intellectual Property Collection, Software Innovation and Engineering New Zealand (SIENZ 2007), Auckland, New Zealand, Nov 26-27, 2007.