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Wellformedness Properties in Euler Diagrams: An Eye Tracking Study for Visualisation Evaluation

Sathiyanarayanan, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-8598-1949 & Mulling, T. (2015). Wellformedness Properties in Euler Diagrams: An Eye Tracking Study for Visualisation Evaluation. Paper presented at the XIV Brazilian Symposiuym on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 03 - 06 November 2015, Salvador, Brazil.


In the field of information visualisation, Euler diagrams are an important tool used in various application areas such as engineering, medicine and social analysis. To effectively use Euler diagrams, some of the wellformedness properties needs to be avoided, as they are considered to reduce user comprehension. From the previous empirical studies, we know some properties are swappable but there is no clear justification which property would be the best to use. In this paper, we considered two main wellformedness properties (duplicated curve labels and disconnected zones) to test which among the two affect user comprehension the most, based on the task performance (accuracy and response time), preference and eye movements of the users. Twelve participants performed three different types of tasks with nine diagrams of each property (so, in total eighteen diagrams) and the results showed that duplicated curve labels property slows down and trigger extra eye movements, causing delays for the tasks. Though there is no significant difference in the accuracy but the insights obtained from the response time, preference and eye movements will be useful for software developers on the optimal way to visualise Euler diagrams in real world application areas.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Publisher Keywords: Euler diagrams; set visualisation; information visualisation; eye tracking; wellformedness properties
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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