How do you connect moving dots? Insights from user studies on Dynamic Network Visualizations

M. Smuc, P. Federico, F. Windhager, W. Aigner, L. Zenk, S. Miksch:
"How do you connect moving dots? Insights from user studies on Dynamic Network Visualizations";
in:"Handbook of Human Centric Visualization", W. Huang (Hrg.); Springer, New York, USA, 2013, ISBN: 978-1-4614-7484-5, S. 623 - 650.

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Abstract:


In recent years, the analysis of dynamic network data has become an
increasingly prominent research issue. While several visual analytics techniques
with the focus on the examination of temporal evolving networks have been
proposed in recent years, their effectiveness and utility for end users need to be
further analyzed. When dealing with techniques for dynamic network analysis,
which integrate visual, computational, and interactive components, users become
easily overwhelmed by the amount of information displayed-even in case of small
sized networks. Therefore we evaluated visual analytics techniques for dynamic
networks during their development, performing intermediate evaluations by means
of mock-up and eye-tracking studies and a final evaluation of the running interactive
prototype, tracing three pathways of development in detail: The first one focused
on the maintenance of the userĀ“s mental map throughout changes of network
structure over time, changes caused by user interactions, and changes of analytical
perspectives. The second one addresses the avoidance of visual clutter, or at least
its moderation. The third pathway of development follows the implications of
unexpected user behaviour and multiple problem solving processes. Aside from
presenting solutions based on the outcomes of our evaluation, we discuss open and
upcoming problems and set out new research questions.