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Task-based evaluation of multi-relational 3D and standard 2D parallel coordinates
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Information Science.
2007 (English)In: Visualization and Data Analysis 2007 / [ed] Erbacher RF, Roberts JC, Grohn MT, Borner K, 2007, Vol. 6495, C4950-C4950 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Multivariate data sets exist in a wide variety of fields and parallel coordinates visualizations are commonly used for analysing such data. This paper presents a usability evaluation where we compare three types of parallel coordinates visualization for exploratory analysis of multivariate data. We use a standard parallel coordinates display with manual permutation of axes, a standard parallel coordinates display with automatic permutation of axes, and a multi-relational 3D parallel coordinates display with manual permutation of axes. We investigate whether a 3D layout showing more relations simultaneously, but distorted by perspective effects, is advantageous when compared with a standard 2D layout. The evaluation is accomplished by means of an experiment comparing performance differences for a class of task known to be well-supported by parallel coordinates. Two levels of difficulty of the task are used and both require the user to find relationships between variables in a multivariate data set. Our results show that for the manual exploration of a complex interrelated multivariate data set, the user performance with multi-relational 3D parallel coordinates is significantly faster. In simpler tasks, however, the difference is negligible. The study adds to the body of work examining the utility of 3D representations and what properties of structure in 3D space can be successfully used in 3D representations of multivariate data.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 6495, C4950-C4950 p.
, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, ISSN 0277-786X ; 6495
Keyword [en]
evaluation, parallel coordinates, multi-relational 3D parallel coordinates, multivariate data
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-95368DOI: 10.1117/12.697548ISI: 000245866700010ISBN: 978-0-8194-6608-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-95368DiVA: diva2:169550
Conference on Visualization and Data Analysis 2007 San Jose, CA, JAN 29-30, 2007
Available from: 2007-01-19 Created: 2007-01-19 Last updated: 2011-04-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Perceptually Motivated Constraints on 3D Visualizations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceptually Motivated Constraints on 3D Visualizations
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis addresses some important characteristics of human visual perception and their implications for three-dimensional (3D) information visualization. The effort can be divided into two parts. First, findings from vision science are explored and validated. As a starting point, the compilation of perceptually motivated evidence about what constitutes an effective and efficient method for mapping of data is undertaken. Second, the knowledge obtained is used to create candidate visualizations and to demonstrate the predictive power of the findings.

Results indicate a general difficulty to convey metric, i.e. quantitative, information in 3D visualizations. Structure as defined by Euclidean geometry is not perceived with accuracy and information encoded by such distinctions are misunderstood or overlooked. On the other hand, qualitative properties as defined by affine geometry are salient are perceived with accuracy (paper I). These findings are also characteristic of two-dimensional (2D) visualizations when these need to be rapidly examined (paper II).

A novel method (3D surface glyphs) for abstract multivariate data sets was developed to investigate the possible merit of encoding information by qualitative distinctions, (paper III). Evaluations showed that the information conveyed was successfully utilized and that these types of glyph have great potential. The study also illustrated the predictive power of the earlier findings. These issues were further demonstrated when investigating how 3D perspective displays are unaffected by distortions in data when the patterns displayed were defined by affine properties (paper IV). In addition, a new metric for measuring the efficiency of visualizations is presented (paper III).

It is concluded that as long as visualizations are specified by qualitative properties, they could most probably be effectively and efficiently used. The need for user studies to determine if, when and how to choose a certain visualization technique for a given task is thereby significantly reduced.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2007. 72 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 22
Människa-dator-interaktion, Perception, 3D, Human-Computer Interaction, Information visualization, User studies, Människa-dator-interaktion
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-7442 (URN)978-91-554-6777-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-02-09, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2007-01-19 Created: 2007-01-19Bibliographically approved

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