Top-Down Hierarchical Planning of Coherent Visual Discourse

Michelle X. Zhou and Steven K. Feiner

Department of Computer Science
Columbia University 500 West 120th St.,
450 CS Building
New York, NY 10027
+1 212 939 7000
{zhou, feiner}


A visual discourse is a series of connected visual displays. A coherent visual discourse requires smooth transitions between displays, consistent design within and across displays, and successful integration of new information into existing displays. We present an approach for automatically designing a coherent visual discourse. A top-down, hierarchical-decomposition partial-order planner is used to efficiently plan the visual discourse. Visual representations are modelled as visual objects, graphical techniques are employed as planning operators, and design policies are encoded as constraints. This approach not only improves the computational efficiency compared to search-based approaches, but also facilitates knowledge encoding, and ensures global coherency.


The research described in this overview is supported in part by DARPA Contract DAAL01-94-K-0119, the Columbia Univeristy Center for Advanced Technology in High Performance Computing and Communications in Healthcare (funded by the New York State Science and Technology Foundation), the Columbia Center for Telecommunications Research under NSF Grant ECD-88-11111, ONR Contract N00014-94-1-0564, and a gift from Digital Image Division.

Permission to make digital/hard copies of all or part of this material for personal or classroot use is granted without fee provided that the copies are not made or distributed for profit or commericial advantage, the copyright notice, the title of the publication and its date appear, and the notice is given that copyright is by permission of the ACM, Inc. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to list requires specific permissions and/or fee.

Copyright © 1997 ACM 0-89791-839-8/96/01 .. $3.50

Get a PostScript copy of the full version.