Kustanowitz, J., Shneiderman, B. (July 2005)
A frequently-used layout for a collection of two-dimensional, fixed aspect-ratio objects, such as photo thumbnails, is the grid, in which rows and columns are configured to match the allowed space. However, in cases where these objects have some group relationship among them, it can be advantageous to show this relationship in the layout, rather than in textual captions. We use an annotated digital photo collection as a case study of an auto-layout technique in which a two-level hierarchy is generated, consisting of a primary, central region with secondary regions (typically 2-12 regions) surrounding it. We show that given specific requirements, this technique is also optimal, in the sense that it will generate the largest size for the objects. Since all objects are the same size we refer to them as quantum content. These algorithms are designed to be real-time, enabling a compelling interactive display as users resize the canvas, or move and resize the primary region. The interactive redisplay also occurs as users add regions or objects to a secondary region.