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How to Display Group Information on Node-Link Diagrams: An Evaluation

Jianu, R., Rusu, A., Hu, Y. & Taggart, D. (2014). How to Display Group Information on Node-Link Diagrams: An Evaluation. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 20(11), pp. 1530-1541. doi: 10.1109/tvcg.2014.2315995


We present the results of evaluating four techniques for displaying group or cluster information overlaid on node-link diagrams: node coloring, GMap, BubbleSets, and LineSets. The contributions of the paper are three fold. First, we present quantitative results and statistical analyses of data from an online study in which approximately 800 subjects performed 10 types of group and network tasks in the four evaluated visualizations. Specifically, we show that BubbleSets is the best alternative for tasks involving group membership assessment; that visually encoding group information over basic node-link diagrams incurs an accuracy penalty of about 25 percent in solving network tasks; and that GMap's use of prominent group labels improves memorability. We also show that GMap's visual metaphor can be slightly altered to outperform BubbleSets in group membership assessment. Second, we discuss visual characteristics that can explain the observed quantitative differences in the four visualizations and suggest design recommendations. This discussion is supported by a small scale eye-tracking study and previous results from the visualization literature. Third, we present an easily extensible user study methodology.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2014 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > giCentre
SWORD Depositor:
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