US 20060265239 A1
A method, system, and computer program products are provided for updating the location of a cursor in a display window on a trading screen when certain events occurs. In a preferred embodiment, as market conditions change, the market information may be rearranged on a screen. To reduce the chances of missing a market opportunity by sending orders or managing them, the cursor moves in association with the market information such that the cursor appears fixed to the market information until a user moves the pointer device.
1. A method for displaying a cursor on a screen of a computer used in an electronic trading system, the method comprising:
identifying a cursor at a first location in a display region, the first location being associated with a first portion of market information for a tradeable object; and
receiving a signal, and in response to the signal, updating the display region by automatically moving the cursor to a second location associated with the first portion of market information, the cursor being moved together with the first portion of market information.
The present invention relates to a computer-based method for displaying a cursor on a graphical interface used in displaying market information received from an electronic exchange to trade one or more tradeable objects.
An exchange is a central marketplace with established rules and regulations where buyers and sellers meet to trade. Some exchanges, referred to as open outcry exchanges, operate using a trading floor where buyers and sellers physically meet on the floor to trade. Other exchanges, referred to as electronic exchanges, operate by an electronic or telecommunications network instead of a trading floor to facilitate trading in an efficient, versatile, and functionally rich way.
With respect to electronic exchanges, buyers and sellers log onto an electronic exchange through their user terminals. A user terminal usually consists of a personal computer, laptop, or workstation that has a Microsoft Windows-type operating system that provides a graphical interface based on windowed regions on the screen and a pointing device such as a mouse. Certainly, the user terminal may include other types of computing devices and might use other types of operating systems such as a Unix-type operating system to trade in a market.
Once logged onto an electronic exchange, buyers and sellers may typically choose which tradeable objects to trade because an electronic exchange often hosts a variety of electronic markets such that each electronic market represents a different tradeable object. As used herein, the term “tradeable object,” refers simply to anything that can be traded with a quantity and/or price. It includes, but is not limited to, all types of tradable objects such as financial products, which can include, for example, stocks, options, bonds, futures, currency, and warrants, as well as funds, derivatives and collections of the foregoing, and all types of commodities, such as grains, energy, and metals. The tradable object may be “real,” such as products that are listed by an exchange for trading, or “synthetic,” such as a combination of real products that is created by the user. A tradable object could actually be a combination of other tradable object, such as a class of tradable objects.
After a selection of the electronic market(s) is made, traders may access the market's order book that typically lists unexecuted buy and sell orders for the tradeable object. Referring to
By way of illustration, market data 104 contains information that characterizes the market's order book and most often includes the inside market, which represents the lowest sell price (also referred to as the best or lowest ask price) and the highest buy price (also referred to as the best or highest bid price). In some electronic markets, market data 104 might also include market depth, which generally refers to quantities available in the market at certain buy price levels and quantities available in the market at certain sell price levels. In addition to providing the market's order book information such as price and quantity information, electronic exchanges can offer other types of market information such as the open price, settlement price, net change, volume, last traded price, the last traded quantity, and order fill information.
As market data 104 is received at user terminal 100, the information may be displayed to the trader on a computer screen 102. Upon viewing the market information or a portion thereof, a trader may wish to take actions such as send orders to a market, cancel orders in the market, change orders in the market, query an exchange, and so on. To do so, the trader may input various commands or signals into the user terminal 100, for example, by using one or more conventional means for inputting information such as typing into a keyboard, inputting commands through a mouse, through a touch-screen, or inputting commands or signals through some other input device generally indicated by 110.
Upon receiving one or more commands or signals from the trader at 110, user terminal 100 may generate messages that reflect the actions taken generally shown as 106. In addition to or in place of manual entry, a trader might use automated trading software that automatically or semi-automatically generates transaction information. Of course, there are many different types of messages and/or order types that can be submitted to an electronic exchange, all of which may be considered various types of transaction information. Once generated, action messages 106 are sent from user terminal 100 to the appropriate electronic market.
It is worth noting that multiple elements of an order must usually be entered prior to an order being sent to market. Such elements or order parameters include, among other things, the desired price, the quantity and whether a buy or a sell order is desired. The more time a trader takes entering an order, the more likely the price on which he wanted to bid or offer will change or not be available in the market. The market is fluid as many traders are sending orders to the market simultaneously. It fact, successful markets strive to have such a high volume of trading that any trader who wishes to enter a market order will find a match and have the order filled quickly, if not immediately. In such liquid markets, the prices may fluctuate rapidly. On a trading screen, this results in rapid changes in the price and quantity fields within the display.
Therefore, recent trading software applications have employed the use of pointing devices to perform multiple actions such as sending an order to market with only one or two clicks of the pointing device. One of the most common pointing devices is a mouse that typically includes a main body, left and right buttons, and more enhanced versions sometimes include a wheel positioned between the left and right buttons. Other types of pointing devices may also be used such as keyboard cursors or trackball, just to name a few. Regardless of the actual pointing device used, a pointer or on-screen cursor in the form of an arrow, or some other identifier, is displayed on the screen and may be used to highlight information, set order parameters, send orders, cancel orders, and so on. The movement of the on-screen cursor is controlled by the relative movement of the pointing device by the user.
A pointer or on-screen cursor are important to traders interested in making fast and accurate trades. For most traders, market data 104 is updated on their screens 102 quickly to reflect fast changes in the market, and therefore, values on the screen 102 move or change at a rapid pace. More often than not, it is up to the trader to quickly and accurately move the on-screen cursor to a desired location to set order parameters or input a buy order or a sell order, for instance. To illustrate this further,
Many aspects of the present embodiments can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating example embodiments of the present invention.
The present embodiments include methods, systems, and computer program products for updating the location of a cursor on a trading screen. In the present embodiments, traders use software that creates specialized interactive trading screens to, among other things, enable the traders to enter orders, obtain market information, and monitor positions. The software frequently updates the trading screens as market conditions change. During which time, the cursor moves in association with an item of interest in the market information such that the cursor appears fixed in relation to the item of interest until the trader moves the pointer device.
In an embodiment of the present embodiments, the cursor moves in association with prices displayed to a trader. According to this embodiment, software allows a trader to set the price for an order by selecting a price from the trading screen with an input device. Also, this allows a trader to easily manage working orders (e.g., delete or change order parameters) that are associated with a price. As the price (and order) information is updated on the trading screen, the location of the cursor automatically moves in association with the price movements. That way, if a trader intends to enter an order at a particular price, for example, the trader will have an increased chance of selecting the price as the cursor will preferably appear fixed in relation to the prices. In addition, if the trader intends to delete or cancel an order at a particular price, for example, the trader will have an increased chance of selecting the exact order to delete, given that the order icon may move in association with the prices.
Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the present embodiments will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be within the scope of the present invention, and be protected by the accompanying claims.
As will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art, the present embodiments may be operated in an entirely software embodiment, in an entirely hardware embodiment, or in a combination thereof. For sake of illustration, however, the preferred embodiments are described in software-based embodiment, which is executed on a computer device. As such, the preferred embodiments take the form of a computer program product that is stored on a computer readable storage medium and is executed by a suitable instruction execution system in the computer device. Any suitable computer readable storage medium may be utilized including hard disks, CD-ROMs, optical storage devices, or magnetic storage devices, for example.
With reference to
Operating system 404 may be used to manage hardware 406 and software resources of computer device 400. Operating system 404 general functions might include processor management, memory management, device management, storage management, application interface, and user interface. Any type of operating system 404 may be used to implement the present embodiments, and examples of common operating systems include Microsoft Windows family of operating systems, the UNIX family of operating systems, and the Macintosh operating systems. However, it will be recognized by those of ordinary skill in the art that the added complexity of an operating system may not be necessary to perform the functions herein. For example, an operating system may not be needed if the present embodiments were implemented in hardware using, for example, hardware components such as application specific integrated circuits (ASICs).
Hardware 406 may include special programs or drivers to interface peripheral input devices generally indicated as 408 such as a mouse or keyboard with operating system 404. In particular, hardware 406 may translate between electrical signals generated by an input device 408 and the programming languages of operating system 404. An input device 408 may be used to control an on-screen cursor. Example input devices include a mouse, keyboard, game pad, virtual glove, joystick, or trackball, just to name a few. An on-screen cursor may include any special indicator or icon that moves with movements of the input device 408. Example types of on-screen cursors include an arrow or some other graphical icon.
Dynamic cursor controller 402 is preferably a software application that interfaces with operating system 404 to update the location of an on-screen cursor. Dynamic cursor controller 402 looks for changes in the display of market information such that the position of the on-screen cursor needs to be automatically updated to a new location relative to the particular trading display. Dynamic cursor controller 402 is preferably implemented by a C+ or C++ based software program, though other suitable program languages can be utilized such as Java. Dynamic cursor controller 402 may be configured to work with any type of trading display to provide the functionality described herein.
Dynamic cursor controller 402 may be stored in a computer program product and loaded into computer device 400 using a removable storage drive, a hard drive, or a communications interface such as a serial port or USB connection. Alternatively, the computer program product may be downloaded to computer device 400 over a network. The control logic (software), when executed by the processor, causes the processor to perform the functions of the invention as described herein.
The following are features of the preferred embodiments that provide particular functionalities and utilities to electronic trading. The functionalities include the ability to update the location of a cursor in association with an item of interest that moves on a trading display to reduce the chances that a trader will miss a market opportunity. More specifically, the preferred embodiments may reduce the time it takes for a trader to place a trade or manage orders when electronically trading through a trading display. This, in turn, may increase the likelihood that the trader will have orders filled at desirable prices and quantities.
Turning now to
At block 500, operating system 404 operates a cursor on a graphical display that is shown on trading screen 514 of a computer device. By way of illustration, many graphical output devices are of the raster type, and plot points. Each dot (or pixel) making up the display is mapped into memory, which may be directly accessed by the processor. The number of pixels on screen 514 is referred to as resolution and each pixel may be addressed in terms of the “x” and “y” coordinates. The cursor may be located at a particular (x, y) coordinate. Any alternatives to a coordinate system for mapping points on a display may be incorporated by the present embodiments by one of ordinary skill in the art.
At block 502, input signals are received from hardware, and in particular, from an input device such as a mouse or keyboard, for example. The input device can move the cursor to a different (x, y) coordinate based on the physical movement of the device. In addition, a user may move the cursor to a desirable location on the screen such as price (or to a location associated with the price) and click a button when a location is chosen. This identifies a pixel, which may be used to send orders at a price associated with the pixel or coordinates, for example. While a single click of the input device might be desirable to select a location, any action taken by a user, whether comprising one or more clicks or selections may be programmed to select a location.
At block 504, market information is received and displayed. Market information may be configured for display to the trader on screen 514 by a trading software application. The market information may be arranged in a graphical window, which may include only a portion of the computer screen and can be resized in either direction to a desired dimension. In addition, some trading software allows a user to position the cursor over a particular location in the window and click a button causing an order to be sent to an electronic exchange or causing initiation of an order (and then sending the order through a confirmation box, for example). While the present invention is not limited to the type of trading window, example types of trading windows are shown for purposes of illustration in
At block 506, when the market has moved, dynamic cursor controller 402 gets the current coordinates of the cursor from operating system 404. Let us assume the current coordinates of the cursor are (X, Y), where X and Y may refer to a number or unit of measurement from a known point of origin preferably defined by the computer software or operating system 404.
At block 508, dynamic cursor controller 402 determines if the cursor is positioned in a “hot zone.” A hot zone, as used herein, may be defined by the programmer of the trading application, or alternatively, by the user of the present embodiments if so desired. Referring briefly to
At block 512, if the cursor is in a hot-zone, then the operating system 404 is called on to move the cursor to the same relative coordinates as the market movement. So, for example, if the price was originally associated with (X+1, Y) in block 506 (the cursor coordinates were (X, Y)) moved to a location at (X+1, Y+2), then the cursor would be updated to have the same relative coordinates (e.g., cursor would be moved from (X, Y) to (X, Y+2)), assuming the connected input device was not moved.
Examples are provided herein to illustrate some of the features of the present embodiments. Description of these examples is provided for convenience only. It is not intended that the invention be limited to application in these screen display environments. In fact, after reading the following description of the examples, it will become apparent to a person skilled in the relevant art how to implement the invention in alternative trading screen environments.
In the example shown, the highest bid price is at “140” and the lowest ask price is at “141.” A cursor 602 is currently positioned over price “143” with coordinates of (X, Y), where X and Y represent any number or unit of measurement from a known point of origin. A display like 600 allows a trader to enter orders directly into the window by selecting a price cell that is situated along the common axis, for example. So, upon a click of a button, for example, an order may be initiated with a preset quantity and the selected price (e.g., in this example, the selected price would equal a price of “143”).
With reference to
Of course, the present embodiments may be configured by one of ordinary skill in the art to work with any variety of market information screens that moves market information in any way to convey the current state of the market to the trader. Preferably, the market information screens show prices along an axis such that they can display “gaps” in the market (e.g., prices that do not have bid or ask quantities) as those displays can generally provide a more intuitive display of the market. An example of this type of display is shown in
However, the market information screens that do not show “gaps” may also be used. An example of this type of display is shown in
The present embodiments provide a mechanism for use in trading electronically that preferably reduces the chances of a trader making the wrong trades at prices that are not desired, especially when using trading software that allows single click trading. Preferably, a trader may designate an item of interest, and once designated, the cursor automatically tracks the movement of the information as it is displayed on the trading screen. In the above examples, price information was used as the item of interest, but other items of interest may be selected such as bid or ask quantities, a trader's working orders, last traded price, or any other item of interest to the trader.
While various embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it should be understood that they have been presented by way of example only, and not limitation. It will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. Thus, the breadth and scope of the present invention should not be limited by any of the above-described exemplary embodiments, but should be defined only in accordance with the following claims and their equivalents.