IST-085 Network of Experts Home Page
- This is the home page for the network of experts (N/X) associated with
the NATO Research and Technology Organization Research Study Group IST-85 which studies interactive visualisation of dynamic networks.
From here you can access various documents
relating to the N/X.
- The NX holds workshops in years when the IST-085 does not sponsor an official NATO Workshop. Successive workshops are held on alternating sides of the Atlantic. There have been seven previous N/X workshops. Details are here. The meeting proceedings for the seventh, held in Germany
October 18-19, 2005, are here.
- No N-X Workshop was held in 2006, as a NATO Workshop "Visualising Network Information" was held in Copenhagen, 17-20 October 2006. Proceedings of that workshop are available from the official NATO RTO/IST Web site under the title RTO-IST-MP-063 Visualizing Network Information.
- An NX Workshop in El Segundo (Los Angeles), California, USA, was held November 6-8 2007. Here is an introduction to the workshop, and the full Proceedings are here.
- The Ninth NX Workshop was held in Malvern, UK, 4-6 November 2008. The call for participation is here, and the Proceedings are here.
- The Tenth NX Workshop was held at Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, USA, October 6-8, 2009. The call is here (MS Word file), and an attendee information form is here (MS Word File).
- The Eleventh NX Workshop will be held in Vancouver, Canada, 29 November to 1 December 2011. The call is here (PDF, MS Word) and a form to use to request an invitation is here (MS Word).
Purpose of the N/X
- The N/X represents a new concept in NATO research discussions and
activities. It offers an unofficial forum for researchers to exchange
information, data and expertise. It carries the advantages that the NATO
umbrella can offer, notably in protecting members' intellectual property, while
avoiding some of the problems with more formal arrangements, including
Governments' current reluctance to join in official arrangements.
- The N/X operates under the aegis of NATO's RTO Research Technical Group
IST-085, Visualization of Dynamic
The N/X supports the RTG in its mandate to study and develop methods to
aid understanding and use of the contents of massive datasets.
The N/X, with the RTG and its predecessors, has held six joint workshops
with the aim of fostering much needed research in this area. The first
was held in Ottawa in June
'96, the second in Malvern in May '97, the third in Toronto in June
'98, the fourth, again in Malvern, in June 1999, the fifth in Aalborg in
October 2001, the sixth in State College, Pennsylvania in March 2003 and the seventh in Wachtberg-Wertove, Germany, in 2005.
of these workshops
can be accessed below. An eighth was held in El Segundo, California, in 2007. Here is an introduction to the Proceesings of the El Segundo Workshop. The ninth was held in Malvern, UK, in 2008, and the Tenth at Penn State University, State College PA, USA, in 2009. No Proceedings were prepared for the Penn State Workshop. No N-X Workshops were held in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, or 2010
because in each of those years there was a formal NATO workshop under the guidance
of IST-0851 and its predecessors.
- A set of slides providing an introduction to the N/X may be viewed here.
Visualization in Massive Datasets
- What is visualization?
Many people consider visualization to be the
ability of computer systems to process data and display it pictorially.
However, visualization is not the computer's capability to generate pictures
and graphs from data, but rather the human's capacity to utilize effectively
the output from the computer to understand the data. Visualization does not require a computer. A reader can visualize the scene in a well-written textual description, and a person can visualize the route to the office. However, for the purposes of the N/X, the visualisation of interest is the visualisation a person achieves in using a computer.
The model below shows conceptually how the various building blocks of the
visualization process relate to each other.
- Military visualization problems arise constantly from the ever increasing
volume, complexity and dynamic nature of data sets of interest that are beyond
the capability of current presentation techniques to display effectively for
human understanding and action. Effective visualization for the military will
require the continuous development of new techniques - tools and methods - that
will allow closer coupling and system level integration of the human's
capabilities into the overall human-computer system.
NATO Research Technical Group IST-059/RTG-025 interprets visualization as
a human activity supported by technology. It is a means by which humans
make sense of complex data. The RTG considers visualization technologies,
such as search engines, algorithmic processes and display devices and techniques,
but only in relation to how they help humans to perform their tasks effectively.
The RTG emphasizes the human use of the computational subsystem in ensuring
that the right information is available in the form and at the time needed.
The Workshops of the Network of Experts are not NATO sponsored
workshops, and operate under quite different procedures. Whereas a NATO Workshop
is a formal entity, approved by the Research and Technology Board through
one of its Panels (the Information and Systems Technology Panel in the case
of IST-059/RTG-025), a Network of Experts Workshop is a voluntary association
of interested persons, coordinated by the "Network of Experts Coordinator
and attended by any N/X member who cares to come.
A N/X Workshop typically emphasises discussion of issues rather
than presentation of results, and even though many members of the N/X are
from commercial organizations, attempts are made to make all presentations
rather more relevant to visualisation issues than simple "show and tell"
to advertise the successes of some particular system or approach. NATO Workshops,
on the other hand, have a formal agenda of presentations, are advertised generally
to NATO and PfP nations, and are open to interested parties on payment of
the registration fee.
Informal Proceedings of earlier N/X Workshops are available
on the Web (including several PowerPoint presentations for download). Hard
copy might perhaps be available by contacting the N/X Coordinator (for e-mail
see below). .
- Proceedings of the First workshop, June 1996, Ottawa, Canada (Not available
on the Web)
- Proceedings of the Second workshop, May 1997,
- Proceedings of the Third workshop, June 1998, Toronto,
- Proceedings of the Fourth Workshop, June 1999,
- Proceedings of the Fifth Workshop, October
2001, Aalborg, Denmark
- Proceedings of the Sixth
Workshop, March 2003, Penn State University, USA
- Proceedings of the Seventh
Germany, October 18-19, 2005
- Proceedings of the Eighth Workshop, El Segundo, CA, USA, Nov 6-8, 2007
- Proceedings of the Ninth Workshop, Malvern, UK, Nov 4-6, 2008
- The 162 page report of IST-13 to the IST Panel (August 99) RTO-TR-030, known as the HAT report, which has guided the work of successor groups IST-021 and IST-059. It is available from the RTO Web site (Select Panel/Group "IST" and Report Type "RTO-TR Technical Reports").
- Visualisation of Massive Military Datasets"
(IST-020/RWS-002) held at the Defence Research Establishment Valcartier, Quebec,
Canada, June 2000. The presentations are mostly in the form of downloadable
- Programme, and some of the Presentations
and Syndicate Reports from the NATO Workshop "Visualisation of Massive
Military Datasets: Users talk to Developers" (IST-036/RWS-007) held at
the Norwegian Defence Logistics and Management College, Halden, Norway,
10-13 September 2002. The Presentations are downloadable, mostly PowerPoint
- Proceedings of a Health Canada Workshop March 16 2006 on Infectious Disease management (password protected; request the password from the N/X Coordinator, whose address you will have if you are an N-X member).
- e-Mail to: N/X membership
(Mail will be rejected if you are not an N/X member)
- e-Mail to: coordinator
web site is maintained by Martin Taylor
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