Experimental objects and their portrait

Since I want to develop tools that can be used for any kind of data, I'll speak of "objects" instead of events. These objects come from experiments or simulations,are very complex and can be represented graphically in many ways. My approach is to represent them graphically in some way,order them using this graphical representation and then allow the user to scan them quickly by using animation. But which representation do we use?

The chosen representation for each object should be a "global" representation:this is a 2D or 3D color symbolic representation of the object that uniquely identifies it in a unique way, like a portrait in a Identity Card identifies the person holding it. Like the portrait this global representation should also be meaningful to the user of the tools and scale gracefully with size.

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