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Words of Estimative Correlation: Studying Verbalizations of Scatterplots

Henkin, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-5511-5230 & Turkay, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-6788-251X (2020). Words of Estimative Correlation: Studying Verbalizations of Scatterplots. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 28(4), pp. 1967-1981. doi: 10.1109/tvcg.2020.3023537


Natural language and visualization are being increasingly deployed together for supporting data analysis in different ways, from multimodal interaction to enriched data summaries and insights. Yet, researchers still lack systematic knowledge on how viewers verbalize their interpretations of visualizations, and how they interpret verbalizations of visualizations in such contexts. We describe two studies aimed at identifying characteristics of data and charts that are relevant in such tasks. The first study asks participants to verbalize what they see in scatterplots that depict various levels of correlations. The second study then asks participants to choose visualizations that match a given verbal description of correlation. We extract key concepts from responses, organize them in a taxonomy and analyze the categorized responses. We observe that participants use a wide range of vocabulary across all scatterplots, but particular concepts are preferred for higher levels of correlation. A comparison between the studies reveals the ambiguity of some of the concepts. We discuss how the results could inform the design of multimodal representations aligned with the data and analytical tasks, and present a research roadmap to deepen the understanding about visualizations and natural language.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2020 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.
Publisher Keywords: Information visualization, natural language generation, natural language processing, human-computer interaction
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Computer Science > giCentre
SWORD Depositor:
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