55th interdisciplinary seminar

Multidimensional Visualisation and its Applications

by Prof. Dr. Alfred Inselberg

Senior Fellow in Visualisation-San Diego
Supercomputing Center & Computer Science
Department Tel Aviv University, Israel

Monday, November 17, 2003, at 2 p.m. in room 4F 104
(this is in building F, 4 th floor, room number 104), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Campus Oefenplein)

About the lecture

People working on multivariate (multidimensional) problems will benefit by understanding the underlying geometry; that is, learning what is possible and what is not. For example, in 1917 the physicist Ehrenfest showed that planetary orbits are stable only in dimension 3. Another dimensionality result is that rotating bodies have an axis of rotation only in odd-integer dimensions. The applications presented here will be more down to earth!

With a system of parallel coordinates a one-to-one mapping between subsets of N space and subsets of 2-space is obtained. This leads to synthetic constructions algorithms in N-space involving intersections, proximity, interior point construction, "Line and Plane Topologies" useful in Computer Vision and Geometric Modelling, as well as Collision Avoidance Algorithms for Air Traffic Control. Applications to Visual Data Mining are illustrated with real datasets on Process Control, VLSI production, Financial, Feature Extraction from LandSat Data etc. A new geometric Automatic Classifier is demonstrated on several high dimensional datasets. Time permitting, a Decision Support system capable of doing Feasibility, Trade-Off and Sensitivity Analyses will be included.

About the speaker

Alfred Inselberg was born in Athens, Greece. He joined the faculty of the University of Illinois upon graduation. In June 1959, he became a member of the Biological Computer Laboratory at University of Illinois. This lab was founded and run by Heinz von Foerster, one of the founding fathers of cybernetics, and was considered to be one of the major places for interdisciplinary research in these time. Alfred Inselberg received a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Physics in 1965 and was appointed Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering and BioPhysics. In September 1966 he joined IBM, where he served for 30 years in the Scientific Centers and Research. He also was connected to the faculties of UCLA, USC and Technion, Ben-Gurion and now at Tel-Aviv Universities. While still a graduate student, Alfred Inselberg got interested in Multidimensional problems and later he developed "Parallel Coordinates"-a way of visualizing Multidimensional Geometry (and Multivariate Problems). The methodology became widely accepted and applied. Alfred Inselberg writes now a book on Multidimensional Visualization and Hi-Tech entertainment. As a speaker Alfred Inselberg is known for his palindromic digressions and numerological trivia.

The presentations with questions will last about an hour. Afterwards, an hour or more is reserved for an in-depth, group discussion of the topic.