Friday, September 16, 2011

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

Representation of a dataset and interaction with the represented data are two key aspects of information visualization. But interaction, according to the authors has always been sidelined and hence they choose to highlight its importance. Over the years there have been several definitions of interaction. But in the context of infoviz, interaction means direct or indirect manipulation and interpretation of visual representation. By this definition, a menu is an example of interaction.

The authors review taxonomies of interaction techniques based on existing literature and examine several infoviz systems. Seven categories of interaction are identified : Select,Explore,Reconfigure, Encode,Abstract/Elaborate,Filter and Reconnect. Each of these interactions are well explained with popular examples like the Name Voyager, Visual Thesaurus etc which were discussed in the class earlier this semester. This paper is definitely a good starting point to delve deeper into the specifics of different kinds of interactions.