Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reaction: Distributed Cognition as a Theoretical Framework for Information Visualization

The objective of this paper is to propose DCog(Distributed Cognition) as a theoretical framework for information visualization. Personally, I found this paper difficult to understand, as there are a lot of points put forward which are not clear. For example, the authors say that this framework is not yet fully developed and hence cannot provide full explanations of the general principles of cognitive coupling, etc. There are a couple of other points too, which makes the user think that the authors have not provided enough support for this framework.

As not much research has gone into the cognitive aspect of visualization, this paper seems to be written very abstractly. The authors fail to provide specific reasons for importance of cognition in visualization. Otherwise, the paper focuses on further development in the field of cognition. Some reasoning, like the one given by Hutchins, is definitely interesting, but it would have been more relevant to discuss it with respect to information visualization. This paper is a good starting point as a literature review while preparing to do further research in this field.