Sluice: A Java-Based Framework for Collaborative Interactive Modular Visualization Environments


TR Number




Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University


We present Sluice, a framework for constructing collaborative, interactive, modular visualization environments (CIMVEs) for use on the World Wide Web. Sluice supports using Java to build modules that create, manipulate, and generate visualizations of tables of data. Sluice provides necessary infrastructure for a CIMV, including interface specifications for methods that modules of the MVE must implement, event propagation to support interaction and dynamic updating, and mechanisms for efficiently supporting collaboration. Our fundamental description of data comes in the form of table which is filtered, extended, or otherwise manipulated to produce a new "view" of the data at each module. We use the observer/observable design pattern to support dynamic updating of visualizations downstream in the dataflow network. Sluice also supports on-the-fly manipulation of the dataflow network. Sluice uses functionality provided by the JavaBeans package to support introspection of modules. This allows CIMVE implementations to discover, query, and set the values of properties of modules at runtime. After describing the design rationale, capabilities, and implementation of Sluice, we then describe our prototype CIMVE named SIEVE.