http://www.dagstuhl.de/13201

May 12 – 17 , 2013, Dagstuhl Seminar 13201

Information Visualization - Towards Multivariate Network Visualization

Organizers

Andreas Kerren (Linnaeus University – Vxj, SE)
Helen C. Purchase (University of Glasgow, GB)
Matthew O. Ward (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, US)


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Documents

Dagstuhl Report, Volume 3, Issue 5 Dagstuhl Report
Aims & Scope
List of Participants
Shared Documents
Dagstuhl's Impact: Documents available
Dagstuhl Seminar Schedule [pdf]

Summary

Information Visualization (InfoVis) is a research area that focuses on the use of visualization techniques to help people understand and analyze data. While related fields such as Scientific Visualization involve the presentation of data that has some physical or geometric correspondence, Information Visualization centers on abstract information without such correspondences, i.e., it is not possible to map this information into the physical world in most cases. Examples of such abstract data are symbolic, tabular, networked, hierarchical, or textual information sources.

The first two Dagstuhl Seminars on Information Visualization aimed to cover more general aspects of our field, such as interaction, evaluation, data wrangling, and collaboration, or focused on higher level topics, for instance, the value of InfoVis or the importance of aesthetics. Besides the Dagstuhl reports that are typically published directly after a seminar [1,2,4,5], there were also follow-up publications for both seminars. The participants of Seminar #07221 wrote book chapters which have been consolidated into a Springer book [7]; the organizers of the same seminar published a workshop report in the Information Visualization journal [6]. For the second Seminar #10241, a special issue in the same journal was published [3].

The goal of this third Dagstuhl Seminar on Information Visualization was to bring together theoreticians and practitioners from Information Visualization, HCI, and Graph Drawing with a special focus on multivariate network visualization, i.e., on graphs where the nodes and/or edges have additional (multidimensional) attributes. The integration of multivariate data into complex networks and their visual analysis is one of the big challenges not only in visualization, but also in many application areas. Thus, in order to support discussions related to the visualization of real world data, we also invited researchers from selected application areas, especially bioinformatics, social sciences, and software engineering. The unique "Dagstuhl climate" ensured an open and undisturbed atmosphere to discuss the state-of-the-art, new directions, and open challenges of multivariate network visualization.

Seminar Topics

The following themes were discussed during the seminar. The seminar allowed attendees to critically reflect on current research efforts, the state of field, and key research challenges today. Participants also were encouraged to demonstrate their system prototypes and tools relevant to the seminar topics. In consequence, topics emerged in the seminar week and were the focus of deeper discussions too.

  • Focus on biochemistry/bioinformatics: In the life sciences, huge data sets are generated by high-throughput experimental techniques. Consequently, biologists use computational methods to support data analysis. The information in many experimental data sets can be either represented as networks or interpreted in the context of various networks. How can our current techniques help to analyze primary and secondary data in the context of such networks, and how can different network types be combined?
  • Focus on social science: Graph drawing techniques have been used for several years for the visualization and analysis of social networks, but other social science fields (e.g., geography, politics, cartography, and economics) also make use of data visualization. How can (or do) our network visualizations support these domains?
  • Focus on software engineering: In the application domain of software engineering, various graphs and data attached to graphs (e.g., software metrics) play a dominant role in the static and dynamic analysis of programs. Which of these problems are conceptually similar to graph-related problems in biology or social sciences and how can multivariate network visualization support specific tasks, such as software architecture recovery?
  • Approaches and methods: There already exist a number of technical approaches, algorithms, and methods to interactively visualize multivariate networks. Which ones are suitable for solving specific tasks in our applications areas? What is their potential? What are their limitations? By identifying the range of approaches that do exist, can we see the potential for new, innovative visualization ideas?
  • Challenges in visualizing multivariate networks: Multivariate networks are large and complex and their complexity will increase in the future. Thus, not all problems can be solved in the short term. What are the current challenges?
  • Time-dependent/dynamic networks: Many networks that are considered in practice change over time with respect to their topology and/or their attributes. How can we best visualize networks and attributes that change over time?
  • Interaction: How can we best support the navigation, exploration and modification of multivariate networks?
  • Multiple networks at different scales: How can we integrate, combine, compare more than one multivariate network at different scales? In this context, the term of so-called multi-modal networks is often used in literature. What does this term mean exactly? Can we visualize a range of different information types concurrently?
  • Tasks: What range of tasks can multivariate network visualization support? Are there general tasks for all application domains?
  • Novel metaphors: What type of visualization metaphors should we use beyond node-link diagrams? What would be the benefit in doing so?

Outcomes

The organizers and participants decided to write a book on multivariate network visualization to be published as LNCS issue by Springer. The possibility of publishing this Springer book was confirmed by the Editor-in-Chief of LNCS already before the start of the seminar. Working groups have been invited to submit a book chapter building on their discussions and findings, and writing is underway. The final chapters are to be submitted by November~3, 2013, with a planned publication date of Spring 2014. A preliminary book structure was presented at the end of the seminar:

  1. Introduction
    • Definition of multivariate networks, typical representations
  2. Domain Application Data Characteristics in Context of Multivariate Networks
    • Biology
    • Social Sciences
    • Software Engineering
  3. Tasks
  4. Interaction
  5. Metaphors (Visual Mappings beyond Node-Link)
  6. Multiple and Multi-Domain Networks
  7. Temporal Networks
  8. Scalability
  9. Summary/Conclusion

The Dagstuhl team performed an evaluation at the end of the seminar week. The results of this survey (scientific quality, inspiration to new ideas/projects/research/papers, insights from neighboring fields, ... ) were throughout very good to excellent. Only a few single improvements were proposed by participants, for example, more junior researchers should be invited to come into contact with world-class researchers. And more domain experts should be invited to be spread out across the breakout groups. Another issue was that the time available for group work should be extended in future seminars.

References

  1. Andreas Kerren, Catherine Plaisant, and John T. Stasko. 10241 Abstracts Collection: Information Visualization. In Andreas Kerren, Catherine Plaisant, and John T. Stasko, editors, Information Visualization, number 10241 in Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Dagstuhl, Germany, 2010. Schloss Dagstuhl Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik, Germany.
  2. Andreas Kerren, Catherine Plaisant, and John T. Stasko. 10241 Executive Summary: Information Visualization. In Andreas Kerren, Catherine Plaisant, and John T. Stasko, editors, Information Visualization, number 10241 in Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Dagstuhl, Germany, 2010. Schloss Dagstuhl Leibniz-Zentrum fuer Informatik, Germany.
  3. Andreas Kerren, Catherine Plaisant, and John T. Stasko. Information Visualization: State of the Field and New Research Directions. Information Visualization, 10(4):269270, 2011.
  4. Andreas Kerren, John T. Stasko, Jean-Daniel Fekete, and Chris North. 07221 Abstracts Collection: Information Visualization Human-Centered Issues in Visual Representation, Interaction, and Evaluation. In Jean-Daniel Fekete, Andreas Kerren, Chris North, and John T. Stasko, editors, Information Visualization Human-Centered Issues in Visual Representation, Interaction, and Evaluation, number 07221 in Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Dagstuhl, Germany, 2007. Internationales Begegnungs- und Forschungszentrum fr Informatik (IBFI), Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany.
  5. Andreas Kerren, John T. Stasko, Jean-Daniel Fekete, and Chris North. 07221 Executive Summary: Information Visualization Human-Centered Issues in Visual Representation, Interaction, and Evaluation. In Jean-Daniel Fekete, Andreas Kerren, Chris North, and John T. Stasko, editors, Information Visualization Human-Centered Issues in Visual Representation, Interaction, and Evaluation, number 07221 in Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings, Dagstuhl, Germany, 2007. Internationales Begegnungs- und Forschungszentrum fr Informatik (IBFI), Schloss Dagstuhl, Germany.
  6. Andreas Kerren, John T. Stasko, Jean-Daniel Fekete, and Chris North. Workshop Report: Information Visualization Human-Centered Issues in Visual Representation, Interaction, and Evaluation. Information Visualization, 6(3):189196, 2007.
  7. Andreas Kerren, John T. Stasko, Jean-Daniel Fekete, and Chris North, editors. Information Visualization: Human-Centered Issues and Perspectives, volume 4950 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 2008.

License
Creative Commons BY 3.0 Unported license
Andreas Kerren and Helen C. Purchase and Matthew O. Ward

Dagstuhl Seminar Series

Classification

  • Visualization
  • Computer Graphics / Computer Vision
  • Society / HCI

Keywords

  • Information Visualization
  • Data Visualization
  • Visualization
  • Graph Drawing
  • Visual Network Analysis
  • Biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Social Sciences
  • Software Engineering

Book exhibition

Books from the participants of the current Seminar 

Book exhibition in the library, ground floor, during the seminar week.

Documentation

In the series Dagstuhl Reports each Dagstuhl Seminar and Dagstuhl Perspectives Workshop is documented. The seminar organizers, in cooperation with the collector, prepare a report that includes contributions from the participants' talks together with a summary of the seminar.

 

Download overview leaflet (PDF).

Publications

Furthermore, a comprehensive peer-reviewed collection of research papers can be published in the series Dagstuhl Follow-Ups.

Dagstuhl's Impact

Please inform us when a publication was published as a result from your seminar. These publications are listed in the category Dagstuhl's Impact and are presented on a special shelf on the ground floor of the library.