Mohammad Ghoniem’s website

© Mohammad Ghoniem – février 2007

Curriculum Vitae

Sunday 28 January 2007, by Mohammad Ghoniem

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Contact Information

CRP - Gabriel Lippmann
Informatics, Systems and Collaboration Department
41, rue du Brill
L-4422 Belvaux

Phone: +352.
Fax: +352.47.02.64


Date Diploma
Nov. 2005 Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Nantes, France.
Sep. 2000 M. Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Nantes, France.
Sep. 2000 B. Sc. in Computer Science from the École des Mines de Nantes, France.

Qualifications and honors

In January 2006, I was declared qualified to apply for an Assistant Professor (Maître de Conférences) position in Computer Science by the French National University Comission (Conseil National des Universités). This qualification has been published officially in France in the Journal Officiel #276 on November 29th 2006, text #53.

In the last six years, I have gained a strong expertise in the field of Information Visualization. This discipline provides compact computer-supported visual representations of abstract multi-dimensional data along with appropriate interaction techniques and user interface in order to help explore, reason, communicate and eventually make decisions about massive volumes of complex data. Depending on the characteristics of the data at hand, whether structured (hierarchies and networks), sequential, quantitative, nominal, ordinal etc., different visualizations and human computer interaction techniques provide invaluable exploration tools and understanding aids. I have acquired this experience through my MS and Ph.D. theses both in the industry at ILOG France and in French academic research labs.

On a personal ground, I have gained expertise with regard to the information visualization applications and challenges, as well as a practical knowledge of the problems and requirements met while designing such demanding computer software. My work can be mobilized fruitfully in all I.T. demanding industries where large volumes of complex data are produced and stored in view of further analysis and decision making.

Within the French National Project “OADymPPaC”, my skills have been applied in particular to the monitoring of large dynamic networks produced by constraint-based solvers such as ILOG Solver, Cosytec Chip++ and GNU-Prolog. I designed a novel matrix-based visualization tool that succeeds very remarkably in the visualization and monitoring of large dense co-activity networks, whereas traditional node-link representations fail. Thanks to information visualization tools, constraint-oriented programmers and experts have now gained invaluable insight with regard to the intimate behavior of solvers and are able to debug, analyze and tune their algorithms.

As a post-doctoral researcher at the Charlotte Visualization Center, University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNCC), my research belongs to the current research agenda of the South-East Regional Visualization and Analytics Center (SRVAC). I am particularly interested in information visualization and human-computer interaction techniques well-suited for the interactive exploration of large datasets. My current work focuses on the following topics:

Semantic browsing of multimedia data

Recently, the number of TV broadcasters has dramatically increased and, at the same time, feature rich multimedia contents have been made available for a very large audience who can also access to cheap large storage devices. This trend has brought about the need to explore and make use of large repositories of video data, whether private or publicly available, for various types of application.

Therefore, I am currently working on the visualization of large repositories of video data, such as TV news reports, augmented with closed captioning and meta-data generated by automated video content segmentation programs. These data raise many interesting questions such as the monitoring of topic changes over time in the media, the detection of emergent stories, the detection of outliers, as well as the comparison between various broadcasters in the way they treat information.

An immediate application of this work may be the automated compilationof a visual and interative press review from various multimedia sources, or the visualization and classification of a private video collection.

Financial data visualization

The computerization of financial transactions taking place in market places, financial institutions, energy markets etc. raises the need of making sense of large volumes of transactional data involving various types of actors. At stake is the capacity of analysts to read the evolution of markets across time, to establish a clear picture of given industry according to various indicators or points of view, or even to detect and fight against fraudulent transactions. These requirements could be dictated by competitivity and benefit goals, or by risk managers who are required by law to report dubious activities going through their financial network lest their institution would be closed or severely sanctioned.

In this context, I have been involved in a project involving a major American bank aiming at the design of information visualization tools for wire transaction data capable of scaling up to long periods of time at the rate of several hundred thousands of transaction per day.

The visualization of large time-varying networks

For my Ph.D. dissertation, I worked on the visualization of large co-activity graphs in support of the analysis and debugging of constraint-oriented programs. I exhibited the effectiveness of matrix-based representations of graphs compared to more traditional node—link diagrams, when dealing with large and/or dense networks.

This technique has also been successfully applied in other application domains such as social networks, and telecommunication and computer networks. Such data structures raise challenging problems with regard to scalability, readability, et become very difficult when time-varying attributes are attached to the network’s vertices or links.

A more detailed description of this problem can be found in my publications between 2001 and 2005.

The evaluation of information visualization techniques

The proposition of matrix-based representations of graphs as an alternative to node—link diagrams led me to set up a controlled experiment in order to compare the readability of both representations. Such initiative includes the choice of tasks to be accomplished by the subjects, the precautions in order with regard to the equivalence of these representations interaction wise, the characteristics of the dataset used in the experiment, and levelling undesirable effects such as memorization or weariness. Eventually, comes the statistical analysis of the collected results.

For the sake of the aforementioned evaluation, I implemented a generic evaluation framework for visualization techniques, that handles the view generation, the question display, the collection of answers and their timing.

Knowledge visualization

The design of visualization systems involves a fair amount of knowledge related to the application domain where the data come from, as well as information visualization art and techniques. Modeling such knowledge according to state of the art techniques in the domain of KDD offers interesting perspectives since it becomes possible to embed knowledge and inferecing capabilities in view of building more "intelligent" visual analytics tools. For example, I have worked on modeling the geopolitical knowledge that is often involved in human activity (e.g. economy and culture) and am currently investigating its use in various applications such as the monitoring of bank transactions and the analysis of TV news reports.

Published Journal Papers

Scalable and Interactive Visual Analysis of Financial Wire Transactions for Fraud Detection
Remco Chang, Alvin Lee, Mohammad Ghoniem, Robert Kosara, William Ribarsky, Jing Yang, Evan Suma, Caroline Ziemkiewicz, Daniel Kern, Agus Sudjianto Information Visualization Journal, Vol. 7, No. 1. (2008), pp. 63-76, Palgrave Macmillan.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Readability of Graphs Using Node-Link and Matrix-Based Representations: Controlled Experiment and Statistical Analysis
Mohammad Ghoniem, Jean-Daniel Fekete and Philippe Castagliola, Information Visualization Journal, Palgrave Macmillan, June 2005.
[PDF] [Bibtex]


Mohammad Ghoniem, Visualization Tools for the Analysis and Debugging of Constraint-Oriented Programs. PhD thesis, University of Nantes, France, 2005
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Mohammad Ghoniem, Feasibility Study and Generic Java Prototype for the Visualization of Hierarchical Data. Master’s thesis, University of Nantes, France, 2000
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Fully Refereed Papers in Conference Proceedings

Decision trees and data preprocessing to help clustering interpretation
Olivier Parisot, Mohammad Ghoniem, and Benoît Otjacques.
In Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Data Management Technologies and Applications (DATA 2014), Vienna, Austria, August 29-31, 2014.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Finding Relevant Features for Statistical Speech Synthesis Adaptation
Pierrick Bruneau, Olivier Parisot, Amir Mohammadi, Cenk Demiroglu, Mohammad Ghoniem, and Thomas Tamisier
In Proceedings of The 9th Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC), VisLR 2014 Workshop on Visualization as added value in the development, use and evaluation of LRs, pp. 13-20, Rejkjavik (Iceland), May 26-31, 2014.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

VAFLE: visual analytics of firewall log events
Mohammad Ghoniem, Georgiy Shurkhovetskyy, Ahmed Bahey, and Benoît Otjacques.
In Proceedings of SPIE 9017, Visualization and Data Analysis (VDA) 2014, vol. 9017-3, February 3, 2014; doi:10.1117/12.2037790
[PDF] [Bibtex]

An Analysis and Evaluation of English Arabic Statistical Machine Translation of Terminology-Rich Text
Mohammad Ghoniem, Khaled Tokal and Ahmed Y. Tawfik.
In Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Terminology and Artificial Intelligence (TIA’2011), Paris, November 8 to November 10, 2011.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

NewsLab : Exploratory Broadcast News Video Analysis
Mohammad Ghoniem, Dongning Luo, Jing Yang and William Ribarsky.
In Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE Symposium on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST’07), Sacramento, California, October 30 to November 1, 2007. IEEE Press.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

WireVis : Visualization of Categorical, Time-Varying Data From Financial Transactions
Remco Chang, Mohammad Ghoniem, Robert Kosara, William Ribarsky, Jing Yang, Evan Suma, Caroline Ziemkiewicz, Daniel Kern, Agus Sudjianto.
In Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE Symposium on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST’07), Sacramento, California, October 30 to November 1, 2007. IEEE Press.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Peeking in Solver Strategies: Using Explanations Visualization of Dynamic Graphs for Constraint Programming
Mohammad Ghoniem, Hadrien Cambazard, Jean-Daniel Fekete and Narendra Jussien. In Proceedings of ACM Symposium on Software Visualization (SoftVis 2005), Saint Louis, MO, May 14-15 2005. ACM Press.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

A Comparison of the Readability of Graphs Using Node-Link and Matrix-Based Representations
Mohammad Ghoniem, Jean-Daniel Fekete and Philippe Castagliola.
In Proceedings of the 10th IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization (InfoVis’04), Austin, TX, Oct 2004. IEEE Press. pp. 17-24
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Comparaison de la lisibilité des graphes en représentation nœuds-liens et matricielle
Mohammad Ghoniem, Jean-Daniel Fekete and Philippe Castagliola. In Proceedings of IHM2004, International Conference Proceedings Series, pages 77-84, Namur, Belgium, September 2004. ACM Press.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

VISEXP: visualizing constraint solver dynamics using explanations
Mohammad Ghoniem, Narendra Jussien and Jean-Daniel Fekete.
In Proceedings of FLAIRS’04: Seventeenth international Florida Artificial Intelligence Research Society conference, AAAI press, 2004.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Visualizing explanations to exhibit dynamic structure in constraint problems
Mohammad Ghoniem, Narendra Jussien and Jean-Daniel Fekete.
In Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on User Interaction in Constraint Satisfaction, Kinsale, Ireland, Sep 2003.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Visualisation de graphes de co-activité par matrices d’adjacence (papier court)
Mohammad Ghoniem et Jean-Daniel Fekete.
In Proceedings of IHM 2002, International Conference Proceedings Series, pp. 279-284, ACM, 2002, Poitiers, France.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Demonstrations and related papers at Refereed Conferences

Visual analytics for network security
Georgiy Shurkhovetskyy, Ahmed Bahey, and Mohammad Ghoniem.
In Proceedings of 2012 IEEE Conference on Visual Analytics Science and Technology (VAST 2012), pp. 301-302 Seattle, WA.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Visualisation matricielle des graphes et manipulation directe de hiérarchies de clusters
Mohammad Ghoniem et Jean-Daniel Fekete.
In Proceedings of IHM 2003, International Conference Proceedings Series, pages 206-207, ACM, 2003, Caen, France.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

The cover image of the proceedings of Softvis 2005.

Non-refereed papers

Animating Treemaps (Workshop)
Mohammad Ghoniem and Jean-Daniel Fekete.
In Proceedings of the Workshop on Treemap Implementations and Applications, University of Maryland, College Park. May 2001.
[PDF] [Bibtex]

Contribution to national research programs

On behalf of the École des Mines de Nantes, I was an active member of the French national research project OADymPPaC between January 1st 2001 and May 14th 2004. I participated in multiple work meetings on the global and bilateral levels and wrote several delivrable documents. This includes a contribution to the definition of the generic XML trace format proposed by the project as well as a quite exhaustive survey of information visualization and interaction techniques applied to large data repositories, and also the implementation of visualization tools as part of the project’s delivrables. I also had the chance to present my work at the annual review meetings led by the Ministry of Research.

Work as a Reviewer for Journals and Conferences

I have been serving the scientific community at different occasions, especially as a reviewer for the following publications:


  • Eurographics / IEEE VGTC
    Symposium on Visualization (Eurovis).
  • IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization (Infovis).



Besides the dissemination of my work in the form of publications in scientific conferences and journals, I had the chance to give presentations in several seminars and scientific events in France and overseas. I was invited to present my work in the following seminars:

The seminar of VALORIA in Vannes/Brest (France)

On December 6th 2005, I gave a talk about my rearch work, the challenges I took up, the methodology I followed and results I obtained during my Ph.D. work, to the MS students in Human Computer Interaction at the VALORIA.

The seminar of ALGO at the University of Caen (France)

On May 24th 2005, I presented my research at the ALGO seminar in the University of Caen. After an introduction to the field on information visualization, I presented the matrix-based representation of graphs and the results on the controlled experiment I led comparing the readability of the matrix-based representation of graphs to traditional node—link diagrams.

The seminar of LANDE at IRISA in Rennes (France)

On June 6th 2004, I presented my research work at the LANDE team at IRISA in Rennes. I presented the field of information visualization and the main techniques of visualization and interaction with large volumes of data.

The seminar of the HCIL at the University of Maryland (USA)

In April 2002, during a visit to the HCIL at the University of Maryland, I presented the challenges raised by data structures encountered in constraint-oriented programs and the leads I was exploring towards the monitor the activity of constraint solvers.

The GT Visualisation meetings (France)

In December 19th 2001, I presented my work concerning the visualization of search trees encountered in constraint-oriented logic programming, at the meeting of the French research group I3 (Information - Interaction - Intelligence) on visualization GT VISU organized by Mountaz Hascoët at the LIRMM in Montpellier.

On June 4th 2002, I presented the software infrastructure I implemented to meet the needs of the OADymPPaC project, at the joint meeting of the French research group I3 (Information - Interaction - Intelligence) on Visualization and (Architectures, Langages and Formalisms) organized by Eric Lecolinet at the ENST in Paris.

Between 2000 and 2006, I got the chance to teach various topics in computer science, to undergraduate students as well as continuing education students, in a number of French Universities and engineering schools. Transmission of knowledge in a clear pedagogical fashion is one of the most enjoyable, yet demanding, experiences I have gone through. Below is a summary of my earlier teaching activities. For further detail, a full description can be found here.


The following table summarizes my former teaching employments as well as statutory number of hours.

Institution Dates Statutory service hours
Université de Bretagne Sud 01/09/2004 - 31/08/2005 [/192h/]
Université de Nantes 01/11/2003 - 31/08/2004 [/96h/]
École des Mines de Nantes 01/11/2000 - 30/10/2003 [/120h/]
[/Total :/] [/408h/]

The following table summarizes the courses I taught over the past five years.

Institution Course Title Period Students
University of South Brittany 3-Tiers applications Spring 2005 28
University of South Brittany Data structures in Java Spring 2005 44
University of South Brittany Graphical User Interface Design Spring 2005 22
University of South Brittany Software-Engineering Spring 2005 22
University of South Brittany Object-Oriented Programming in Java Fall 2004 44
University of Nantes Introduction to Algorithmics Spring 2004 36
University of Nantes Networking Spring 2004 30
University of Nantes Object-Oriented Programming in Java Spring 2004 20
University of Nantes Graphs and Operational Research Fall 2003 24
University of Nantes Project Management Fall 2003 30
École des Mines de Nantes Human Computer Interaction Fall 2003 19
École des Mines de Nantes Relational Databases Spring 2002 20

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