Email-Set Visualization: Facilitating Re-Finding in Email Archives

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Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University


In this paper we describe ESVT – EmailSet Visualization Tool, an email archive tool that provides users a visualization to re-find and discover information in their email archive. ESVT is an end-to-end email archive tool that can be used from archiving a user’s email messages to visualizing queries on the email archive. We address email archiving by allowing import of email messages from an email server or from a standard existing email client. The central idea in ESVT’s visualization, an “email-set”, is the set of emails that are the result of a query on a user’s email archive. ESVT provides a multiple email-set view - visualization of multiple email-sets on a time axis. In addition, each email set can be individually visualized based on person and time axis, using the single email-set view. Query logs, individual email visualization, multiple email set visualization provide rich contextual cues, thus enabling end users to deal with email overload and re-find past email which otherwise wouldn’t be discovered easily.



Human-computer interaction, Information visualization, Information retrieval