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Investigating flow visualizations using interactive design space hill climbing

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3 Author(s)
Mitchell, P. ; Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping, Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH, USA ; Ware, C. ; Kelley, J.

Optimizing complex displays is difficult because there are many alternative ways of mapping the data to its graphical representation. In this paper we report on a study employing a method we call ¿interactive design space hill climbing¿. This involves first parameterizing the mapping from data to display. Next, using an interactive interface, designers and domain experts attempt to construct good designs by interactively changing parameters settings based on a random starting point. In our study we applied this method to the problem of 2D flow visualization: users adjusted 22 different sliders under each of 11 mappings to try to create an optimal display of a flow field from an ocean flow model. The results suggest that some variables should have settings in a narrow range. We conclude that employing designers with a human in the loop hill climbing interface can be a good overall solution for complex visual display designs in cases where a relatively simple parameterization is possible.

Published in:

Systems, Man and Cybernetics, 2009. SMC 2009. IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

11-14 Oct. 2009