Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reaction: Distributed Cognition as a Theoritical Framework for Information Visualization.

The paper tries to provide ways to improve the research in Information visualization by taking into account that distributive cognition is one of the factors that is of prime significance in Information visualization. The author tries to make their point by providing theoretical models supporting their argument. The author tries to build their discussion from the Shneiderman's mantra " overview first, zoom and filter, then details on-demand". The authors believe that the research in cognitive science can definitely help build better Information Visualization systems. The author points out that representation and interaction are the two important things in Information Visualization and stresses to be taken into consideration while building InfoVis systems.

The author drives his point with constructive arguments highlighting the importance of improving cognition. This paper actually helps us understand that the environmental cannot be separated from human while studying cognition. This is a totally new perspective that I have tried to observe from the study. The author mentions five different steps to build theoretical frameworks. The author failed to specify different philosophical assumptions that are to be considered in building such models.

The author tries to explain a scenario they have used in one of the competitions they have participated and talks about the visual analytics tool they have developed. A detailed analysis of the internal, external, and distributed representation explains the Distributed Cognition (DCog) model that they have built and made studies on it. The DCog model built can be a great tool for researchers in the field of Computer Graphics and Information Visualization. The author although specifies that interaction is one of the two things after representation that is important for improving cognition, they failed to stress on explaining it in detail. The author concludes the discussion with specifying that Information Visualization is one of the research areas that is closely related to perception and cognition. The authors have raised their voice in specifying that their model DCog provides a more useful framework to issues of representation and interaction than does traditional cognitive science frameworks.