Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reaction: The Value of Information Visualization

As the title of the paper says "The value of Information Visualization" the authors have put in their efforts to find the value of InfoVis through different paths through out the paper. Even though its possible to measure performance of algorithms or judge value of tools using Vis they say amplifying the cognition through InfoVis is a very challenging task.

They have categorized the users with nature of exploration , browsing or just gaining insight from the site. Which I would perfectly agree since many of us just use the vis as a trial and error understanding tool rather than going with some specific question in mind. One another point they mention is the difficulty in evaluating a vis.

The authors go through different areas spanning from scientific theories, history, biology and statistics to do a comparison study of the behavior of users. The memory aspects, better performance and efficiency , reduction of search and recognition of patterns etc are some areas which they focus to argue on Cognition and Perspectives.

Overall the authors were able to give a detailed study of InfoVis , and towards the end they have even compared it with the competitor Data Mining. Finally they have tried to measure profit of visualization as the difference of increase in knowledge and costs made to obtain the insight. This is a good read were the paper finally concludes that persons who use InfoVis in meaningful / important way need not be convinced of the value of it.