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Hierarchical pixel bar charts

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3 Author(s)
Keim, D.A. ; AT&T Res., Florham Park, NJ, USA ; Hao, M.C. ; Dayal, U.

Simple presentation graphics are intuitive and easy-to-use, but only show highly aggregated data. Bar charts, for example, only show a rather small number of data values and x-y-plots often have a high degree of overlap. Presentation techniques are often chosen depending on the considered data type, bar charts, for example, are used for categorical data and x-y plots are used for numerical data. We propose a combination of traditional bar charts and x-y-plots, which allows the visualization of large amounts of data with categorical and numerical data. The categorical data dimensions are used for the partitioning into the bars and the numerical data dimensions are used for the ordering arrangement within the bars. The basic idea is to use the pixels within the bars to present the detailed information of the data records. Our so-called pixel bar charts retain the intuitiveness of traditional bar charts while applying the principle of x-y charts within the bars. In many applications, a natural hierarchy is defined on the categorical data dimensions such as time, region, or product type. In hierarchical pixel bar charts, the hierarchy is exploited to split the bars for selected portions of the hierarchy. Our application to a number of real-world e-business and Web services data sets shows the wide applicability and usefulness of our new idea.

Published in:

Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 3 )