Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reaction: Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Role of Interaction in Information Visualization

This paper is an excellent read. It is extremely informative about how interactions and representations are two entities in themselves in a information visualization. The author concentrates on putting the forth how interactions paves the ways in which visualizations can be made more than a static representation of data. The author mentions a important point: representation and interactions are never mutually exclusive; they will be dependent on each other.

The paper proposes taxonomy of interaction categories which can help the developers understand the importance and complexity of interactions. The paper puts forth seven different types of interactions and their explanations appropriately. These categories of interactions are found from measuring interaction techniques on a logical scale i.e. power of description, evaluation and generation. The categories are found to be exhaustive and the basis of all complex interactions. The author uses examples excellently to convey the basis of each interaction and how it has been implemented in an viz. application. This really helped me understand the concept.

The paper further explains that categorization of interaction techniques is important in developing efficient visualizations which can cater to user's need. These categories help the developers understand what precisely to target while building a visualization. I thought that the paper presented a very informative view of how interactions matter and how a visualization can never be completely efficient and effective without user input. Interactions thus provide the user to change and adjust the options and the view of the InfoViz. I found this paper really helpful and made me think of how we can make any application better in terms of improving the interaction property.