Document Sharing on Tabletop Systems

Type of Thesis: 
Master Thesis

On a daily basis users struggle to organse and re-find their stored documents, photos or emails. Personal Cross-Media Information Management investigates the opportunities to provide the user with an alternative to the Desktop Metaphor where we step away from the file hierarchies used to store our information. Our cross-media PIM system is a solution which unifies all organisational structures such as email, bookmarks and file hierarchies but also the physical classification structures such as bookshelves or piles of papers on the desk. This approach to PIM makes it possible to construct our own personal cross-media information space with less fragmentation of the information. By providing a tool for centralising all these possible ways of storing our information, we allow the user to re-find the information no matter where or how the information has been stored. Often, users only need information which is relevant in a certain context, such as the slides of a course when studying for that course. Therefore, we include a context-aware component to provide the user with the context-relevant information instead of the currently used static file system.


Our PIM system organises the information in a way which is approaching the users mental model of the Personal Information Space. Because ones mental model is constructed by associating information, the PIM system provides the functionality to link documents and semantic concepts. Furthermore, users often share personal information in collaborative work settings.  






This thesis will investigate how we can share documents and their linked documents from the user’s PIM system in a collaborative setting making use of a tabletop. First, you will investigate the state of the art in tabletop visualisations with a focus on collaborative work settings followed by the design of a visualisation and interaction technique. Finally, a proof of concept will be implemented based on our PIM system.  

Background Knowledge: 
  • Java
Technical challenges: 
  • You will learn about innovative tabletop techniques
  • You will learn about our PIM system
  • You will learn how to design visualisations for tabletops
Sandra Trullemans
Academic Year: