The METAPHOR MIXER Software Suite consists of a set of advanced,
easy to use, knowledge discovery tools that interface with data access
and analysis modules and have been optimized to work in a networked
environment for a shared information paradigm. Decision makers can receive data from multiple sources -- financial data feeds such as Bloomberg and Reuters, Oracle or DB2 relational databases, or OLAP interfaces like Essbase.
METAPHOR MIXER Data Transformation and Configuration Adapters (MM-DTACs) are scalable and designed to seamlessly integrate with existing multidimensional modeling (MDM) and on-line analytic processing (MDX/OLAP) tools.
The software is based on industry standard databases and database connectivity drivers (PERL/DBI, ORACLE, MS-SQL SERVER, ODBC, OLE DB) for maximum compatibility with both in-house legacy systems as well as newer corporate enterprise-wide systems like SAP BIW. Together, the suite enables powerful decision support
visualization applications designed specifically to address the complex analyses required to mine the largest databases
and affords the decision maker the topsight
needed to observe, orient, decide and act more efficiently, and with greater knowledge, than
(MM) visualization technology provides decision support for the analysis
of abstract data and information. This networked application receives,
processes and displays real-time and database information from multiple
sources in a 3-D environment called an Information Landscape.
An Information Landscape consists of a categorically defined,
3-D planar surface intersecting a continuous numerical axis. Cells formed
by the intersection of this matrix contain the individual data element icons
comprising the user-specified categories. Users can represent levels
of hierarchical abstraction by defining subcategories of the
Border Elements. For example, Countries can be placed into Regions,
Products into Categories, or Companies organized by Market Sector further
subcategorized by Industry Groups. Any combination of these categories
can then be paired together to produce a corresponding Information Landscape. Users
can configure an unlimited number of different Border Elements against
each another within an Information Landscape.
Individual data elements are represented as geometric icons, whose shape,
color, behavior and relative position along the numeric axis reflect
user-defined decision support criteria. The visual grammar of an Information
Landscape is comprised of the following attributes:
· Border Elements:
categories of information (i.e., Industry Groups, Geographic Regions,
Market Segments, etc.) define an Information Landscape's 2-D base.
· Numeric Axis: a continuous axis that intersects the
baseline of an Information Landscape to provide a third dimension (Height).
· Color of Icons: typically blue to red, which visually
reinforce Height along the numeric axis.
· Shape/Size of Icons: triangles, squares and pentagons
represent different types of data elements (i.e., small, medium and
large cap stocks).
· Images on Icons: corporate logos or other identifying
symbols texture-mapped on the geometric icons.
· Behaviors of Icons: spinning, blinking, quaking and
sliding visual cues that highlight user-defined criteria.
· Arrow Vectors: atop each icon like the hour hand of
a clock, reflect changing conditions and values of data elements.
· Intelligent Agents: voice activated, interactive assistants
perform user-defined information gathering tasks.
· Speech Recognition and Video Conferencing: allow users
to communicate with the agents and with other users, for collaborative
METAPHOR MIXER provides three
ways to navigate Information Landscapes. One method allows users
to define pre-set flight paths above, below, around or through the Information Landscape.
These flight paths can be saved to a file for use by others to replay
annotated journeys through that Information Landscape. Second, users can fly through
the Landscape using the a mouse or joystick to control the zoom, azimuth,
and tilt perspectives of the viewpoint. This navigational interface
models a flight simulator, with a heads-up display to represent the
locations, details, and features of the data contained within an Information Landscape.
Third, METAPHOR MIXER has a VCR-like ability to play back data events across different
time periods, with the stocks, bonds and options moving day-by-day to
their respective percent changes. The icons representing these data
elements change color, blink, or spin depending on the conditions you
apply to a given time interval.
METAPHOR MIXER also embodies a unique method for detecting specific types of information
through the use of interactive agents. Agents have been outfitted with
voice responses to help convey their actions, and offer two distinct operating
modes. In the first mode, the user employs the agent interactively,
looking for data elements with certain characteristics via fuzzy logic
or other algorithms. In the second mode the agent runs autonomously
in the background in combination with the underlying processing engine
to search for and alert the user to relevant news headlines, SEC filings,
and earnings reports.