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Computer-Aided Rhetorical Design: Decomposing Composition. Nancy A. Chinchor CIA GVAC Visual Analytics Consortium The Next Generation 23 & 24 May 2006 . “Although we often hear that data speak for themselves, their voices can be soft and sly.”.

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Computer aided rhetorical design decomposing composition l.jpg
Computer-Aided Rhetorical Design:Decomposing Composition

  • Nancy A. Chinchor


  • Visual Analytics Consortium

  • The Next Generation

  • 23 & 24 May 2006

Although we often hear that data speak for themselves their voices can be soft and sly l.jpg
“Although we often hear that data speak for themselves, their voices can be soft and sly.”

Frederick Mosteller, Stephen E. Fienberg, and Robert E.R. Rourke, Beginning Statistics with Data Analysis (Reading, Massachusetts, 1983), p. 234.

The universe is made of stories not of atoms l.jpg
“The universe is made their voices can be soft and sly.”of stories, not of atoms.”

Muriel Rukeyser (AmericanWriter, 1913-1980)

Overview l.jpg
Overview their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Visual Analytics Research

  • Production, Presentation, and Dissemination

  • GVAC Progress Report

  • Decomposing Composition

  • GVAC Future Work

Visual analytics l.jpg
Visual Analytics their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Visual Analytics is the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces.

  • Developments have changed the original recommendations in Illuminating the Path

Production presentation and dissemination l.jpg
Production, Presentation, their voices can be soft and sly.”and Dissemination

  • Analysts spend 5% of their time thinking and 95% of their time composing product

  • Visual analytics’ effectiveness is judged by its appearance in product

  • We must, therefore, provide support for composition

Original recommendation l.jpg
Original Recommendation their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Create visual analytics data structures, intermediate representations, and outputs that support seamless integration of tools to:

    • support around-the-clock operation

    • provide robust privacy and security control

    • support these functions within a cohesive environment:

      • data requests and acquisition,

      • visual analysis,

      • note-taking,

      • presentation composition,

      • and dissemination

Developments l.jpg
Developments their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Assignment from NVAC: make it happen

    • NVAC-supported workshop to create the vision

    • Write R&D agenda for implementing the vision

    • Coordinate the activity

Intelligence community changes l.jpg
Intelligence Community Changes their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Presidential Directive for All Source Analysis including Open Source

  • Presidential Directive for Information Sharing

  • Office of the Director of National Intelligence has requested that DST produce technologies for the DI to make analysis Dynamic and Collaborative

Gvac progress report l.jpg
GVAC Progress Report their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Works in progress:

    • Finding the right people for the workshop (found 3 of 6)

    • Planning workshop activities

    • Making workshop arrangements

Workshop participant characteristics l.jpg
Workshop Participant Characteristics their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Analyst

  • Designer

  • Communications

  • Agent of Cultural Change

  • Simplifier

  • Composer

Making something from nothing or alchemy without straw l.jpg
Making Something from Nothing their voices can be soft and sly.”(or alchemy without straw)

  • Visiting network of people

  • Communicating vision

  • Renew vision continuously

  • Analyze current practices

  • Analyze current and future requirements

  • Discover natural phases of reaching vision

Planning workshop activities l.jpg
Planning Workshop Activities their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Insights that foster vision (video)

  • Defining scope

  • Assistant to make arrangements, prepare agenda, and take notes for the workshop report

  • Putting materials together to collect more information from participants (e.g., bibliography, software list, requirements, resources, etc.)

Decomposing composition l.jpg
Decomposing Composition their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Production methods

    • current advantages and shortcomings

    • future directions

  • Analytic workflow

    • current advantages and shortcomings

    • acceptable dynamic and collaborative methods

Decomposing composition15 l.jpg
Decomposing Composition their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Argumentation structure

  • Evidence choices

  • Visual analytic tools used

  • Other analysts vs. end audience

  • Collaborative dynamics

Decomposing composition16 l.jpg
Decomposing Composition their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Points of view

    • Steps

    • Roles

    • Standards

    • Tools

    • Quality control

    • Weaknesses

    • Solutions to weaknesses

Decomposing composition17 l.jpg
Decomposing Composition their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Towards requirements

  • Architecture

  • Rhetorical and graphical design intelligence built in

  • Product “publication” - dynamic multimedia with reach-back

  • Collaboration - privacy/security, moving between versions, co-analysis methods, co-authoring, and co-editing

  • Dialogue

  • Evidence-analysis-collection cycle

Decomposing composition18 l.jpg
Decomposing Composition their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • innards

  • edit widgets

  • group, ungroup

  • text - fonts, styles, effect

  • rhetoric - prose and visual

  • analyst versus audience - who is who, what are their needs, and who decides what they see

Decomposing composition19 l.jpg
Decomposing Composition their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Workshop activities – brainstorming

  • Devices for brainstorming

    • Figures of speech, sources, mixtures

  • Editing analytic product – untangling the spaghetti for those with less context

  • Simplifying – make direct – distillation

  • Quicken reading – fast fiction sentence structure, font, weight, layout

  • Look at culture – pop and art, animation simplification

  • Gromit’s eyebrows, eyeballs, and ears do all of the “speaking” Video-clip

  • Principles of design and rhetoric

Resources l.jpg
Resources their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Emergent academic fields

    • Visual Rhetoric

    • Visual Culture

  • Leaders in multimedia production and communication

  • Leaders in visual analytics and other information technologies


  • Current leaders in the Intelligence Community, their directives, and those charged with carrying them out

  • Financial analysts

Actions taken l.jpg
Actions Taken their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Assisting Pat in planning workshop on Mathematics for Visual Analytics (October)

  • Planning workshop on Composition Tools for Visual Analytic Results (January)

  • Developing requirements for Composition Tool

    • Trip to Pgh to visit CMU and MayaViz

    • Meeting with Director of Multimedia Production Group at CIA – “gold standard” – Adobe

    • Pinpointed “right” analyst for further discussions

Future work l.jpg
Future Work their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Continue growing the group for the workshop (have participants chosen by mid-summer)

  • Continue developing requirements

  • Continue learning the division of labor in the business of intelligence and how it is changing

  • Maintain contacts with people as everything is changing

  • Develop opportunities as the momentum for tools grows

Background slides l.jpg
Background Slides their voices can be soft and sly.”

Definition of terms l.jpg
Definition of Terms their voices can be soft and sly.”

  • Production - the creation of materials that summarize the results of an analytic effort for the intended audience

  • Presentation - the style of those materials that conveys the analytic results effectively

  • Dissemination - the process of delivering the information to the intended audience

Oculus sandbox c 2004 l.jpg
Oculus Sandbox (c) 2004 Advanced Yet Acceptable)

Polaris current practice l.jpg
Polaris (Current Practice) Advanced Yet Acceptable)

  • Textually Designed

  • Tracks Evidence

  • Provides Interface to Word

Workshop participant characteristics28 l.jpg
Workshop Participant Characteristics Advanced Yet Acceptable)

  • Analyst - person who writes well but is stuck in their head

  • Designer - person who interactively develops solutions by refining needs

  • Communications - range from high level policy makers to the public to first responders

  • Agent of Cultural Change - business and technology

  • Simplifier - person who can simplify the path from the head to the audience

  • Composer in specialty - specialty that requires and uses custom tools that are along the path to the vision (e.g., animated film production, financial analyst)

Visual rhetoric l.jpg
Visual Rhetoric Advanced Yet Acceptable)

  • Visual rhetoric is the fairly recent development of a theoretical framework describing how visualimages communicate, as opposed to aural or verbal messages. The study of visual rhetoric is different from that of visual or graphic design, in that it emphasizes images as rational expressions of cultural meaning, as opposed to mere aesthetic consideration (Kress 18).

  • Visual rhetoric examines the relationship between images and text. Some examples of artifacts analyzed by visual rhetoricians are charts, paintings, sculpture, graphs, web pages, advertisements, movies, architecture, newspapers, photographs, etc.

  • Visual rhetoric is closely related to the older study of semiotics. Semiotic theory seeks to describe the rhetorical significance of sign-making. Visual rhetoric is a broader study, covering all the visual ways humans try to communicate, outside academic policing (Kress 11).

  • Visual tropes and tropic thinking are a part of visual rhetoric (the art of visual persuasion and visual communication using visual images). The study includes, but is not limited to, the various ways in which it can be applied throughout visual art history.

  • The term "visual rhetoric" has emerged mainly as a way of marking out disciplinary territory for scholars interested in non-textual artifacts such as those mentioned above; conceptually, the term "visual rhetoric" is itself somewhat problematic. It is usually used to denote non-textual artifacts, yet any mark on a surface -- including text -- can be seen as "visual." Consider the texts available at Project Gutenberg. These "plain vanilla" texts, lacking any visual connection to their original, published forms, nevertheless suggest important questions about visual rhetoric. Their bare-bones manner of presentation implies, for example, that the "words themselves" are more important than the visual forms in which the words were originally presented. Given that such texts can easily be read by a speech synthesizer, they also suggest important questions about the relationship between writing and speech, or orality and literacy.

    • Author: Wikipedia contributors

    • Publisher: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

    • Date of last revision: 23 November 2005 14:01 UTC

    • Page Version ID: 29056711

Visual culture l.jpg
Visual Culture Advanced Yet Acceptable)

  • Visual culture is a field of study within cultural studies focusing on aspects of culture that rely on visual images. Among cultural studies theorists working with contemporary culture, this often overlaps with film studies and the study of television, although it can also include video game studies, comics, traditional artistic media, advertising, and any other medium that has a crucial visual component.

  • Major work on visual culture has been done by W. J. T. Mitchell, particularly in his books Iconology and Picture Theory. Other writers important to visual culture include Stuart Hall and Slavoj Zizek.

  • Visual culture is related to visual sociology and visual studies. There is debate over how art history and visual culture are distinct from one another.

  • Visual Studies, an inter- or postdisciplinary field, aims to integrate and expand the already existing disciplines of Art History, Film and Media Studies, and Cultural Studies. Though often engaging objects or artifacts included within these fields, it can often incorporate those overlooked or excluded by more traditional fields of study. Often criticized for its lack of historical rigor, this is not necessarily intrinsic to the field, and many of its practitioners remain rigorous in their historical foundations and object analysis. Because Visual Studies aims not just to fill in gaps to challenge disciplinary boundaries, it can also be said to have political implications. In fact, Visual Studies is often quite closely linked to Critical Theory.

References l.jpg
References Advanced Yet Acceptable)

  • Kress, Gunther, and Theo van Leeuwen. Reading Images: The Grammar of Visual Design. New York: Routledge, 1996. ISBN 0-415-10600-1

  • Handa, Carolyn, ed. Visual Rhetoric in a Digital World. New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004. ISBN 0-312-40975-3

  • Hill, Charles, and Marguerite Helmers, ed. Defining Visual Rhetorics. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 2004. ISBN 0-8058-4403-1

  • Sturken, Marita; Lisa Cartwright (2000). Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture, Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0198742711.

  • Mirzoeff, Nicholas (1999). An Introduction to Visual Culture, London: Routledge. ISBN 0415158761.

  • Mirzoeff, Nicholas (ed.) (2002). The Visual Culture Reader, 2nd ed., London: Routledge. ISBN 0415252229.

  • Rhetoric and the Arts of Design. Lawrence Erlbaum, 1996 (with Brian Butler).

  • Creating Interactive Worlds with Words: Principles of Writing as Representational Composition, in press (with Brian Butler). [Return]

  • Gunther Kress - 2

  • Stanford book published by Pearson on Persuasive Visual Communication

Suggested additions l.jpg
Suggested Additions Advanced Yet Acceptable)

  • Include a database/mining/representation person at the workshop

  • Add visual studies to list of resources

  • DIA is currently setting ground rules for using blogs and wikis for dynamic intelligence products -- visit them to see where they are

  • Add the caveat that the percentages of analysis time and production time are based on self-reporting and not on any measured data

  • The data reported by Jeff Cooper was from RDEC which is not a true production system and was based on software usage time on software packages exclusively categorized as research, analysis, and production.