Design Pattern: IM(3) Dynamic queries


During large disturbances, the alarm activations occur so rapidly that they can flood the operator. Especially during these conditions, the human operator would like to select specific categories of alarms or eliminate unneeded momentary alarms based on different dimensions such as time or priority .


The human operator needs to apply filters to the alarm inputs in order to select specific categories of alarms and eliminate unneeded momentary alarms.


Represent graphically the request of the human operator by using dynamic queries. Dynamic queries provide a graphical visualization of a database and searching results. They allow to clearly dividing the alarm data into distinct separated categories, such as alarms placed on a map. They work instantly within a few milliseconds as users adjusts sliders or select buttons to form simple queries. In this way, they let the user switch filters on and off by preference: if the operator wants to explore only a certain part of the alarm data belonging to one specific category, he can deselect all the other filters to clean up the display.

Known uses
Fig1. GIS viewer applies dynamic queries to a map surface
Fig2.Diagram of different elements of a nuclear power plant provided by the GoalArt control system

A dynamic query function provides the user with instant gratification for his input effort. The user gets immediate feedback to his query from the very first keystroke, and quickly notices if he's on the wrong track. The possible result span is not limited gradually, but this technique also helps to point out spelling mistakes and impossible criteria combinations from the outset.