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Researchers have made significant progress in disciplines such as scientific and information visualization, statistically based exploratory and confirmatory analysis, data and knowledge representations, and perceptual and cognitive sciences. Although some research is being done in this area, the pace at which new technologies and technical talents are becoming available is far too slow to meet the urgent need. National Visualization and Analytics Center's goal is to advance the state of the science to enable analysts to detect the expected and discover the unexpected from massive and dynamic information streams and databases consisting of data of multiple types and from multiple sources, even though the data are often conflicting and incomplete. Visual analytics is a multidisciplinary field that includes the following focus areas: (i) analytical reasoning techniques, (ii) visual representations and interaction techniques, (iii) data representations and transformations, (iv) techniques to support production, presentation, and dissemination of analytical results. The R&D agenda for visual analytics addresses technical needs for each of these focus areas, as well as recommendations for speeding the movement of promising technologies into practice. This article provides only the concise summary of the R&D agenda. We encourage reading, discussion, and debate as well as active innovation toward the agenda for visual analysis.
Date of Publication: Jan.-Feb. 2006