Navigation and browsing on a computer system are usually done using the file system hierarchy. However, this is not the most adequate method to search or locate a given file at a later time, unless we know exactly where it is. In this paper, we present a new approach for interactive file searching, which takes advantage of the (implicit) metadata associated to files. With this information we specify a semantic hierarchy that is both used for browsing and filtering the found files. We combine this with an interactive histogram, for overviewing and filtering according to specific metadata, and a dynamic view mechanism, which selects the most appropriate representation for the type of file being presented. Experimental tests with users revealed that they can find files faster than with a conventional browser or searching tool and that the semantic hierarchy and filtering mechanism were well understood by users.
Author and article information
Pedro Teixeira Daniel
Gonçalves Manuel J. Fonseca
Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering INESC-ID/IST/TU Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal