Category Archives: News

Visualization Papers at CHI 2013

I just came back from CHI 2013, the premier conference on human-computer interaction (Paris was chilly and expensive. Yet, dramatically beautiful, as always). Here is a selection of interesting visualization papers I picked up from the program.

Using fNIRS Brain Sensing to Evaluate Information Visualization Interfaces. Interesting study from Tufts University on the feasibility of using brain scanning techniques to study mental workload in visualization.

Weighted Graph Comparison Techniques for Brain Connectivity Analysis. Excellent study on the ever-lasting battle between node-link graphs and matrices (to visualize weighted graphs in this case). Matrices win over node-links almost in every task. Very good example of exploration and evaluation of a specific design space. A lot to learn here.

The Challenges of Specifying Intervals and Absences in Temporal Queries: A Graphical Language Approach. Visual and interaction design study to allow end-users (doctors in this case) to specify complex temporal queries without writing a single line of code. It makes me think how visualization can and should be used not only as an output device but also a way to facilitate inputing data into a system.

Evaluating the Efficiency of Physical Visualizations. User study comparing 2D and 3D bar charts on a standard computer display to physical bar charts fabricated with a laser printer. Physical 3D is more effective than display 3D. Why? See the paper. (Side note: we featured this work in a Data Stories episode on Data Sculptures)

Contextifier: Automatic Generation of Annotated Stock Visualizations. Automatic annotation of stock market line graphs by extracting text from news articles. Annotation has been neglected for a while in vis (maybe because text is not considered part of the visualization?) but I think it’s super important. This is a great first step in the right direction.

Motif Simplification: Improving Network Visualization Readability with Fan, Connector, and Clique Glyphs. We all know how easily graphs can turn into hairballs. Motif simplification is a smart way to reduce the complexity of graphs by aggregating nodes into predefined glyphs.

Evaluation of Alternative Glyph Designs for Time Series Data in a Small Multiple Setting. User study on the comparison of icon-sized time-series visualizations. Two aspects are evaluated: layout (circular, linear) and value coding (length, color intensity). The study leads to a number of design guidelines (and hey … I am one of the co-authors here :))

I hope you’ll enjoy reading these papers. There is a lot of food for thoughts here. Comments, requests, criticism, always welcome.

Take care.





VisWeek BOF: Blogging About Visualization

Hi There,

VisWeek is approaching! This is just a short notice to let you know I am organizing a Birds-of-Feather with Robert Kosara titled “Blogging About Visualization” at VisWeek. The goal of the BOF if to meet people who are interested in data visualization blogs (bloggers and readers) and have a chat about current practices and future developments.

Here is the information about where and when:

Blogging about Visualization
Time: Tuesday 4:15-5:55pm
Location: Bristol
Description: A meeting of visualization bloggers, readers, and anyone interested in discussing visualization on the web. We will discuss experiences, uses, purpose, benefits, and future goals of blogging about visualization.

If you are a regular reader of this or other data visualization blogs and has something to say or just want to meet us and join the conversation please drop by, I am sure it will be fun. Me and Robert plan to give some advice on blogging, in case people want to hear it, and the BOF will be totally informal. It could also be the starting point of new endeavors, collaborations, ideas, etc.

Cocktail & Dinner.

Another good reason to participate is that we will have a cocktail and dinner just after the BOF. We still have to fix the location but we plan to meet at 7pm at the lobby and go there together. If you are interested, even if you cannot come to the BOF, please sign in the google group I created for this purpose: Vis Blogging Dinner. We are already a good bunch of people.

Take care and hope to see you soon.

P.S. In case you are reading this and will not be able to come to visweek don’t worry I plan to provide plenty of information from the conference this year. Stay tuned!