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IBM Cambridge Research Center

  Project: History Flow

Primary Researchers: Martin Wattenberg, Fernanda B. Vigas

A Collaborative User Experience Project:

Most documents are the product of continual evolution. An essay may undergo dozens of revisions; source code for a computer program may go through thousands. And as on-line collaboration becomes increasingly common, we see more and more ever-evolving group-authored texts. History Flow is a simple visual technique that provides a clear view of complex records of contributions and collaboration.

History Flow provides answers at a glance to questions such as: Has a community contributed to the text or has it been mostly written by a single author? How much has a particular contributor influenced the current version of the document? Is the text's evolution marked by spurts of intense revision activity, or does it reflect a smooth transition from its beginning to the present?

The current version
of History Flow visualizes the evolution of pages from WikiPedia, a growing on-line free encyclopedia being created by people all over the world who come to the site and contribute to its contents. History Flow has four main visualization modes that display the contents of the document being analyzed as it changes over different versions. Each one of these modes highlights different aspects of authorship, and content changes as these evolve over time.

For details, click here.

  • TR 04-19: Martin Wattenberg, Fernanda B. Vigas, "Studying Cooperation and Conflict between Authors with History Flow Visualizations."