SOCRAT Platform Design: A Web Architecture for Interactive Visual Analytics Applications


The modern web is a successful platform for large scale interactive web applications, including visualizations. However, there are no established design principles for building complex visual analytics (VA) web applications that could efficiently integrate visualizations with data management, computational transformation, hypothesis testing, and knowledge discovery. This imposes a time-consuming design and development process on many researchers and developers. To address these challenges, we consider the design requirements for the development of a module-based VA system architecture, adopting existing practices of large scale web application development. We present the preliminary design and implementation of an open-source platform for Statistics Online Computational Resource Analytical Toolbox (SOCRAT). This platform defines: (1) a specification for an architecture for building VA applications with multi-level modularity, and (2) methods for optimizing module interaction, re-usage, and extension. To demonstrate how this platform can be used to integrate a number of data management, interactive visualization, and analysis tools, we implement an example application for simple VA tasks including raw data input and representation, interactive visualization and analysis.

Chicago, IL