Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reaction: Distributed Cognition as a Theoretical Framework for Information Visualization

In this paper the authors state that Distributive cognition framework has the potential to become the theoretical framework for Information visualization, as there are no fully developed theories to explain and substantiate InfoVis. As we know cognition is an important part of information visualization, which has to researched more to make InfoVis stronger and stable. The difference between the cognitive properties of systems individuals manipulating tools and that of individual minds is well put. Our basic assumption that memory is amplified by using some procedures is contradicted sensitively by using the writing and then reading example.

The definition of unit of analysis for studying cognition is well stated as the summation of humans plus the arttcrafts or tools that the make use of to accomplish a task. The explanation about the volatile nature of theories was done using examples from Physics which is very apt to the context. The main reason why the authors give Distributive cognition preference over the tradition approach is that later has failed in informing InfoVis as a design discipline. But, they make this statement without substantial reasoning. The real life scenario that the authors have used to explain the theoretical value of InfoVis could have been done much elaborate. The paper is more biased towards the issues of representation and interaction, while proposing Distributive cognition framework as a theoretical framework to InfoVis.