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Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Science in Computer Science


Computer Science

Major Advisor

Alark Joshi, Ph.D.


Effective management and visualization of large animal colonies presents a significant challenge for researchers in the biological sciences. Complex breeding schemes, large nuclear families, and many individual attributes present problems for currently available visualization software, most of which are tailored for traditional human pedigrees. We developed a novel visualization technique that \sandwiches" offspring in between the parents of a family to display information in the context of an animal colony. The Colony Visualization Environment (CoVE) was implemented based on this visualization technique.

CoVE is a framework providing multiple interactive visualizations to effectively view information related to large animal colonies. Each interactive visualization provides insight into a unique facet of the data related to a colony of animals, including the Experiment View, which provides a novel visualization and management technique tailored for experiments. Available Search and Filter interfaces quickly identify individuals with parameters of interest, while a Breeding Calculator estimates resources required to breed a desired number of specimens with a specific genotype. CoVE also provides efficient techniques for managing information in large animal colonies, improving the accuracy of the information through built-in error checking mechanisms. These include verification of gender consistency and genetic information, based on the Mendelian Laws of Inheritance.

Case studies show favorable results, indicating the visualization technique is effective and the management features are beneficial.