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Adaptive Lenses: Content-aware Focus+Context Visualization

In Situ, équipe-projet INRIA commune avec le CNRS et l’Université Paris-Sud
Bât. 490 - Université Paris-Sud - 91405 ORSAY - France

Contact: Emmanuel Pietriga (


Focus+context interfaces based on the metaphor of lenses provide in-place magnification of a region of the display, smoothly integrating the focus of attention into its surroundings. Two representations of the data exist simultaneously at two different scales, providing an alternative to classical pan & zoom for navigating massive datasets using multi-scale graphical interfaces. See for various examples.

The geometry and layout of objects to be magnified by lenses can vary greatly. Most frame- works, however, only allow for lenses with a statically-defined size and basic shape that will often be ill-adapted to the graphical configuration of the region of interest. The goal of this internship is to start investigating an area that has remained largely unexplored: the design and implementation of content-aware lenses that dynamically adapt their shape and size to the visual content of the user’s focus of interest. The internship will focus on developing and val- idating an efficient model and OpenGL implementation of lenses that can dynamically adapt themselves based on a restricted set of basic predefined shapes. The follow-up Ph.D will be an opportunity to further investigate the concept of adaptive lenses, with the definition of a model that supports arbitrary shapes, the design of interaction techniques adapted to this new kind of interface, and the development of techniques for automatic and optimal adaptation to visual configurations.


Low-level graphics API (OpenGL, shaders): proficient; Geometry: knowledge- able; computer vision: some familiarity welcome (optional)


1. E. Pietriga, O. Bau, C. Appert, Representation-Independent In-Place Magnification with Sigma Lenses, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (TVCG), 14 pages (available as pre-print) DOI=

2. Pietriga, E. and Appert, C. 2008. Sigma lenses: focus-context transitions combining space, time and translucence. In Proceeding of the Twenty-Sixth Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Florence, Italy, April 05 - 10, 2008). CHI '08. ACM, New York, NY, 1343-1352. DOI=

3. Bier, E. A., Stone, M. C., Pier, K., Buxton, W., and DeRose, T. D. 1993. Toolglass and magic lenses: the see-through interface. In Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference on Computer Graphics and interactive Techniques (Anaheim, CA, August 02 - 06, 1993). SIGGRAPH '93. ACM, New York, NY, 73-80. DOI=

4. Carpendale, M. S. and Montagnese, C. 2001. A framework for unifying presentation space. In Proceedings of the 14th Annual ACM Symposium on User interface Software and Technology (Orlando, Florida, November 11 - 14, 2001). UIST '01. ACM, New York, NY, 61-70. DOI=

5. Carpendale, S., Ligh, J., and Pattison, E. 2004. Achieving higher magnification in context. In Proceedings of the 17th Annual ACM Symposium on User interface Software and Technology (Santa Fe, NM, USA, October 24 - 27, 2004). UIST '04. ACM, New York, NY, 71-80. DOI=

6. Pietriga, E. 2005. A Toolkit for Addressing HCI Issues in Visual Language Environments. In Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages and Human-Centric Computing (September 20 - 24, 2005). VLHCC. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 145-152. DOI=

7. Pietriga, E., Appert, C., and Beaudouin-Lafon, M. 2007. Pointing and beyond: an operationalization and preliminary evaluation of multi-scale searching. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (San Jose, California, USA, April 28 - May 03, 2007). CHI '07. ACM, New York, NY, 1215-1224. DOI=