Monday, September 19, 2011

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

According to author for complete end-user experience in InfoViz systems is driven by two main components:- representation of data using graphics and interaction with end users. Author argues that shifting focus to interaction, which has been overshadowed by representation, can actually overcome limitations of representaion and can improve performance of infoviz systems as a whole.The goal of the paper is to develop a taxonomy of interaction techniques which can be applied at different level of granularity. Authors studied diffrent taxonomies and arrived at a convincing definition of interaction techniques as the features that provide users with the ability to directly or indirectly manipulate and interpret representations.However that does not take into account static images. Affinity diagramming method helped in concluding that representation and interaction techniques are strongly coupled and hence user intent is an appropriate parameter to classify interaction techniques.Further,from their studies, author came up with seven categories of interaction which can lead to efficient and systematic data exploration.Author explains every category with supporting theories and examples like Direct walk is explained with reference to visual thesaurus for exploring data;Reconfiguration examples include SDM and Conetress, Attribute explorer support encoding, also be achieved by color-encoding, drill-down operation in a tree map visualization to depict abstraction is explained through SequoiaView, filtering can be done using dynamic query controls and author also illustrate connect interactions with the help of vizster and name voyager. Overall, its a very informative read and leaves room for improvement by stating "categories are not collectively exhaustive".