Data analysis often involves the comparison of complex objects; however, general mechanisms for comparison are not well understood. We propose a general taxonomy of visual designs for comparison that groups all designs into three basic categories, which can be combined to explain how visualization can effectively support comparison.
Michael Gleicher, Danielle Albers, Rick Walker, Ilir Jusufi, Charles D. Hansen, Jonathan C. Roberts. Visual Comparison for Information Visualization. Information Visualization, 10, 4, pp 289-309. Oct 2011.
Project Page: http://graphics.cs.wisc.edu/Vis/CompIV