Prefuse is a Java-based extensible software framework for creating interactive information visualization applications. It can be used to build standalone applications, visual components and Java applets. Prefuse intends to simplify the processes of visualizing, handling and mapping of data, as well as user interaction.
Some of Prefuse's features include:
- Table, graph, and tree data structures supporting arbitrary data attributes, data indexing, and selection queries, all with an efficient memory footprint.
- Components for layout, color, size, and shape encodings, distortion techniques and more.
- A library of controls for common interactive, direct-manipulation operations.
- Animation support through a general activity scheduling mechanism.
- View transformations supporting panning and zooming, including both geometric and semantic zooming.
- Dynamic queries for interactive filtering of data.
- Integrated text search using a number of available search engines.
- A physical force simulation engine for dynamic layout and animation.
- Flexibility for multiple views, including "overview+detail" and "small multiples" displays.
- A built in, SQL-like expression language for writing queries to prefuse data structures and creating derived data fields.
- Support for issuing queries to SQL databases and mapping query results into prefuse data structures.
(and perhaps most importantly)
- Simple, developer-friendly application programming interfaces (APIs) for creating custom processing, interaction, and rendering components.
Prefuse has been used in school course projects, academic and industrial research, and commercial software development.
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