Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Reaction: Task Taxonomy for Graph Visualization

Though this paper looks like a list of tasks that user will perform to make his understanding of the visualization better, it does a great favor to the visualization developers who can follow certain rules and regulations to make the output of these tasks performed by the user more successful. The author explains his intention by not rushing into the concept. He revised all the jargon that he is going to user. It also acts like a good refresher for all the novice readers.

The paper basically presents a list of tasks which appears to be exhaustive. Had the examples been not provided, the paper would have been boring to read. The categorization of the tasks into groups makes the exhaustible list into a more comprehensible and meaningful to read. The classification allows the user to maintain a systematic though process during the reading phase itself. The categories are topology based tasks, overview tasks,browsing tasks and attribute based tasks. The classification of tasks into high level and low level was interesting as the constraints for this classification didn't seem to be intuitive.

The minute difference in performing different tasks are well explained and even the hair line differences are clearly stated. The table that was presented at the end of the paper could have been made more elaborate by giving the rationale for those rating etc. I was also wonder why the paper lacked illustrations using pictures when there was lot of scope for it.

The fact that the experimentation of the tasks was done only by a few real time user makes the paper lack the basic foundation and fidelity. This dearth has been leveraged by author by stating that he had used the results of earlier paper in concluding. We can also notice that the tasks are presented at a fine granular level looking at the hairline differences.

Overall I would take this paper as a good reference while working on our group project. I would try to take some inspiration from the paper and create my own rules while designing the visualizations. I feel this is a good steal.