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Considerations for Visualizing Comparisons

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Volume 24, Number 1 — jan 2018
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Supporting comparison is a common and diverse challenge in visualization. Such support is difficult to design because solutions must address both the specifics of their scenario as well as the general issues of comparison. This paper aids designers by providing a strategy for considering those general issues. It presents four considerations that abstract comparison. These considerations identify issues and categorize solutions in a domain independent manner. The first considers how the common elements of comparison---a target set of items that are related and an action the user wants to perform on that relationship---are present in an analysis problem. The second considers why these elements lead to challenges because of their scale, in number of items, complexity of items, or complexity of relationship. The third considers what strategies address the identified scaling challenges, grouping solutions into three broad categories. The fourth considers which visual designs map to these strategies to provide solutions for a comparison analysis problem. In sequence, these considerations provide a process for developers to consider support for comparison in the design of visualization tools. Case studies show how these considerations can help in the design and evaluation of visualization solutions for comparison problems.

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BibTex references

  author       = "Gleicher, Michael",
  title        = "Considerations for Visualizing Comparisons",
  journal      = "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics",
  number       = "1",
  volume       = "24",
  month        = "jan",
  year         = "2018",
  note         = "Proceedings InfoVis 2017",
  doi          = "10.1109/TVCG.2017.2744199",
  url          = "http://graphics.cs.wisc.edu/Papers/2018/Gle18"

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