Computer Scientists Use CMGPD to Develop Visualization Tools for Genealogical Data

Qu Huamin (HKUST Computer Science) and collaborators have been using the China Multigenerational Panel Dataset-Liaoning to test and showcase visualization tools they have been developing for multidimensional genealogical data. Multidimensional refers to the fact that the genealogical data not only identify ancestors and kin, but describe additional characteristics. They recently published a paper describing these tools and the results of applying them to CMGPD in the IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems: While developing their tools and testing them with the CMGPD, they have consulted frequently with members of the Lee-Campbell Group not only about the data, but the needs of likely users. This collaboration between historians, social scientists, and computer scientists is an example of the sort of cross-disciplinary interaction and engagement that is common at HKUST.

The tools that Professor Qu and his collaborators are developing allow for the visualization of these characteristics, highlighting ancestors or kin with specified traits, while at the same time organizing the presentation as a traditional family tree. This allows for visualization of patterns within families, for example, whether certain outcomes are more apparent in specific family branches, or whether lineage experienced changes in specific time periods.