Design Pattern: IM(4) Brushing and Linking


A set of incoming alarms has been registered. Accordingly, the human operator would like navigating alarm displays in order to understand if these alarms are recurring or where they are located.


The human operator needs to navigate to related alarm information across alarm displays to be able to determine where to look to find needed information.


Create a tightly coordination between alarm displays at different scales but also between displays at the same scale by applying brushing and linking. Brushing and linking refers to the connection of two or more views of the same data, such that a change to the representation in one view affects the representation in the other. Specifically, brushing refers to highlighting, for example selected data, in one view, in other connected data representations. Linking refers to a change of parameters in one data representation being reflected in other connected data representations.

Known uses
Fig1. Brushing and linking implementation on an alarm visualization system interface for power grid operations
Fig2.Multiple coordinated views by using brushing and linking

Brushing and linking has been characterized as an effective technique for performing visual exploration and analysis of large, structured data sets. It allows identifying patterns and outliers across displays. (Ware, C. (2012). Information visualization: Perception for design Elsevier)