Thursday, January 18, 2007

New Visualizations for Trading Systems

I am doing some thinking about new kinds of visual interfaces for trading systems. Whenever you walk through the trading floor, you see rows and rows of traders, each one having 6 monitors, each monitor containing a multiple array of grids of cells flashing in different colors. It takes a special kind of mentality to be able to navigate this extremely hypnotic array of lights 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year.

I came upon this thesis, written by one Pasha Roberts of MIT. This is probably the best summary of different visualization techniques being used for financial industries. Pasha also formed his own company, LinePlot, to take advantage of his thesis work.

The use of WPF for new kinds of visualizations is upon us. I have heard that several of the big investment banks are dipping their toes cautiously into the waters. The trick will be to come up with compelling visualizations without overpowering the user. Word is also that several IBs are recruiting game developers. In fact, the other day, there was a job posting on CraigsList for a hedge fund seeking to recruit a game developer.

I wonder if any of the CEP companies like StreamBase, Vhayu, Kaskad, etc have considered visualization schemes as output for the data it processes. It would be interesting for one of these engines to do some CEP and eventual transformation into a stream of XAML. I bet that Matt is thinking along these lines, maybe as an offshoot of his patented work at JPMC.

©2007 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved

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