Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reaction: Task Taxonomy for Graph Visualization

In this paper we are presented with a description and a breakdown of graphs into subcomponents and the functions performed on a graph. This “taxonomy” seems rather limited in that, though basic descriptors of various types of graph components are defined, and tasks which can be performed on these graphs are enumerated, a hierarchical approach to taxonomy most commonly used is never applied to the data except for classification into the four classes of tasks; Topology-Based, Attribute-Based, Browsing, and the overarching High-Level tasks.
One way to do this would require the classification of additional visualization types and maintenance of a universal task set which could then be applied to these visualizations. Once this is done, then it would be possible to group visualizations in hierarchical descriptors based upon overlapping task. Unfortunately, to my knowledge there is no universal task set defined which can be applied to all visualizations. To be truly useful, a full standardized ontology of visualization types and task types would allow for a much less loose and piece-wise interpretation of not just graph visualizations, but any type of visualization.
Overall, the paper seems limited in scope and poorly articulated. Graphical representation of these taxonomies (after all, it is a paper about visualizations) would be highly valuable.