Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reaction: Task Taxonomy for Graph Visualization

This is a very brief read for users who are interested in comparing graph visualization systems. An interesting point observed in this paper is that although there has been graph research right from the start of the days of research in graphics, there has been little work done based on the data tested with real users. The authors have categorized the tasks based on the visual analytics approach they have come up with in explaining the work they have put in developing their graphical model. They have briefly summarized the tasks encountered while analyzing graph data into Topology based, Attribute based, Browsing and Overview tasks.

By classifying the tasks into different categories, the author has allowed users to understand that division of tasks into a subjective pattern allows for proper decomposition of tasks at a very higher level. By clearly explaining different examples for all the tasks, the author has made this paper an interesting read. The author stresses on the importance of understanding graphs for clearly elucidating information visualizations.

The list of the examples provided and the task division looks exhaustive to me and provide closer details to the graph visualization. I felt that the authors could have also stressed a little in providing detail about the other high level tasks and the overview tasks to make it a very good paper. Although they have made their point that the complex tasks for graph visualization could be seen as a series of low level tasks, I felt that tasks at high level play an important role for the end user too.