Posts Tagged ‘visweek’
Bernice E. Rogowitz covered fundamentals in human perception and cognition, and discussed how they apply to visualization. She covered a huge array of topics, ranging from the pupil being partially responsible for our depth perception, all the way to color theory and how it relates directly to the biology of the human eye.
The presentation had a great flow, starting at a very high level to give everyone an idea of what questions they would be able to answer at the end. As the talk progressed, she covered detailed biological details of the human eye, and progressed to the intersection of perceptual issues and computer science.
In the biological portion, we learned that there are five layers of cells in the retina, each responsible for different tasks. Much of the interesting stuff happens at the very beginning (photoreceptor distribution) and then further into the process at the ganglion cells. She went over how lateral inhibition is caused by the spatial distribution of the photoreceptors connected to a single ganglion cell, and how this is the reason for several of the optical illusions we perceive. She did a great job of explaining the connections between biology and perceptual issues.
Cultural differences were also addressed. The eye movements we have are actually learned when we learn how to read. Cultures with different reading directions have substantially different reading directions.
The section on the Striate Cortex was especially interesting. This is the first time in the visual system that images from each eye are merged (the point where depth perception occurs). This section sends output to 60% of the brain! This is a huge amount, and makes the visual system incredibly important to the decision making process.
This tutorial had a huge quantity of useful information and was really well put together! She concluded with a great summary of four things to remember:
- There are different response rates for different stimuli, how well do you want to convey magnitude information?
- Color and luminance mechanisms have different spatial sensitivities.
- Certain visual information is perceived “pre-attentively” such as color.
- How the world is perceived depends on what the user is trying to accomplish.
The annual IEEE Visualization, IEEE Information Visualization and IEEE Visual Analytics Science and Technology conferences – together known as IEEE Visweek will be held in Providence, RI from October 23rd to October 28th.The detailed conference program is spectacular and can be downloaded here.Some of the new events this year are under the Professional’s Compasscategory. It includes a Blind date lunch (where one can meet some researcher they have never met and learn about each others research), Meet the Editors (where one can meet editors from the top graphics and visualization journals), Lunch with the Leaders session (an opportunity to meet famous researchers in the field) and Meet the faculty/postdoc candidates (especially geared towards individuals looking for a postdoctoral position or a faculty position). I think this is an excellent idea and hope that the event is a hit at the conference.I am also eagerly looking forward towards the two collocated symposia – IEEE Biological Data Visualization (popularly known as biovis) and IEEE LDAV (Large data analysis and visualization). Their excellent programs are out and I’d encourage you to take a look at them.
The tutorials this year look great and I am particularly looking forward to the tutorial on Perception and Cognition for Visualization, Visual Data Analysis and Computer Graphics by Bernice Rogowitz. Here is an outline for the tutorial that can be found on her website. She was one of the first people to recommend that people STOP using the rainbow color map.
The telling stories with data workshop too looks great and will be a continuation of the great tutorial held by the same group last year. I am eagerly looking forward to it.
Apart from this are the excellent papers that will be presented at the conference. I shall write another post about the ones I am particularly looking forward to. With so many exciting events going on, it almost seems like a crime to have all of them happening in the span of a few days.
I shall definitely be blogging about the event as much as I can. You can also follow me on twitter, which will have more real time tweets than the blog which will distil a days worth of information into a post.
Let me know if you are going to be around and I’ll be happy to talk to you.
InfoVis (Information Visualization) 2009 is an integral part of the Annual VisWeek conference. This year the VisWeek conference will be held in Atlantic city, NJ from October 11th-16th. In the next few posts, I shall post my views on things to look out for in each of the tracks at the VisWeek conference: VAST, Vis and Infovis. Here are some exciting talks/panels/workshops/tutorials that I’m looking forward to at InfoVis this year (Links and other material shall be updated as material becomes available):
Collaborative Visualization on Interactive Surfaces (CoVIS)
Organizers: Petra Isenberg, Michael Sedlmair, Dominikus Baur,
Tobias Isenberg, Andreas Butz
Visualization and Analysis Using VisIt
Organizer: Hank Childs
Exploring Design Decisions for Effective Information Visualization
Organizers: Jo Wood, Jason Dykes, Aidan Slingsby
InfoVis Best Paper Award
ABySS-Explorer: Visualizing Genome Sequence Assemblies
Cydney B. Nielsen, Shaun D. Jackman, Inanç Birol, Steven J.M. Jones
InfoVis Best Paper Award
Mapping Text with Phrase Nets
Frank van Ham, Martin Wattenberg, Fernanda B. Viégas
InfoVis Honorable Mention
MizBee: A Multiscale Synteny Browser
Miriah Meyer, Tamara Munzner, Hanspeter Pfister
InfoVis Honorable Mention
Configuring Hierarchical Layouts to Address Research Questions
Aidan Slingsby, Jason Dykes, Jo Wood
InfoVis Honorable Mention
SellTrend: Inter-Attribute Visual Analysis of Temporal Transaction
Data, Zhicheng Liu, John Stasko, Timothy Sullivan
Spatiotemporal Analysis of Sensor Logs using Growth Ring Maps
Peter Bak, Florian Mansmann, Halldor Janetzko, Daniel A. Keim
A Nested Model for Visualization Design and Validation
“Search, Show Context, Expand on Demand”: Supporting Large Graph Exploration with Degree-of-Interest
Frank van Ham, Adam Perer
A Comparison of User-Generated and Automatic Graph Layouts,
Tim Dwyer, Bongshin Lee, Danyel Fisher, Kori Inkpen Quinn, Petra Isenberg, George Robertson, Chris North
Visualizing Social Photos on a Hasse Diagram for Eliciting
Relations and Indexing New Photos, Michel Crampes, Jeremy de Oliveira-Kumar, Sylvie Ranwez, Jean Villerd
Bubble Sets: Revealing Set Relations with Isocontours over Existing Visualizations
Christopher Collins, Gerald Penn, Sheelagh Carpendale
Temporal Summaries: Supporting Temporal Categorical Searching, Aggregation and Comparison
Taowei David Wang, Catherine Plaisant, Ben Shneiderman, Neil Spring, David Roseman, Greg Marchand, Vikramjit Mukherjee, Mark Smith
Harnessing the Web Information Ecosystem with Wiki-based Visualization Dashboards
SpicyNodes: Radial Layout Authoring for the General Public
Michael Douma, Grzegorz Ligierko, Ovidiu Ancuta, Pavel Gritsai, Sean Liu
code swarm: A Design Study in Organic Software Visualization
Michael Ogawa, Kwan-Liu Ma
Protovis: A Graphical Toolkit for Visualization
Michael Bostock, Jeffrey Heer
Participatory Visualization with Wordle
Fernanda B. Viégas, Martin Wattenberg, Jonathan Feinberg
Capstone: Visual aids: Use of Paintings and Photography for Lighting in the Theater
Speaker: Brian MacDevitt, Broadway Lighting Designer
VAST is the Visual Analytics track at the Annual VisWeek conference. This year the VisWeek conference will be held in Atlantic city, NJ from October 11th-16th. In the next few posts, I shall post my views on things to look out for in each of the tracks at the VisWeek conference: VAST, Vis and Infovis. Here are some exciting talks/panels/sessions that I’m looking forward to this year (Links and other material shall be updated as soon as the papers are available):
Interactive Visual Clustering of Large Collections of Trajectories,
Gennady Andrienko, Natalia Andrienko, Salvatore Rinzivillo, Mirco Nanni, Dino Pedreschi, Fosca Giannotti
A Framework for Uncertainty-Aware Visual Analytics
Carlos D. Correa, Yu-Hsuan Chan, Kwan-Liu Ma
Parallel Tag Clouds to Explore and Analyze Faceted Text Corpora (YouTube Video)
Christopher Collins, Fernanda B. Viégas, Martin Wattenberg
Describing Story Evolution from Dynamic Information Streams
Stuart Rose, Scott Butner, Wendy Cowley, Michelle Gregory, Julia Walker
Evaluating Visual Analytics Systems for Investigative Analysis: Deriving Design Principles from a Case Study
Youn-ah Kang, Carsten Görg, John Stasko
Visual Analysis of Graphs with Multiple Connected Components
Tatiana von Landesberger, Melanie Görner, Tobias Schreck
VAST Best Paper Award: Iterative Integration of Visual Insights during Patent Search and Analysis
Steffen Koch, Harald Bosch, Mark Giereth, Thomas Ertl
FinVis: Applied Visual Analytics for Personal Financial Planning
Stephen Rudolph, Anya Savikhin, David S. Ebert
Visual Opinion Analysis of Customer Feedback Data
Daniela Oelke, Ming Hao, Christian Rohrdantz, Daniel A. Keim, Umeshwar Dayal, Lars-Erik Haug, Halldór Janetzko
VAST Capstone Panel
How Interactive Visualization Can Assist Investigative Analysis: Views and Perspectives from Domain Experts
Organizer: John Stasko
Panelists: Sarah Cohen, Lawrence Hunter, Joe Parry
Are you planning to come by to the VisWeek conference? Is so, which sessions are you interested in?
As part of Visweek, there were a few Panels which I have consistently enjoyed through all these years. The first panel was on
Grand Challenges for Information Visualization
Tamara Munzner gave an interesting talk which resonated with that I believe is necessary for our field. She emphasized on the fact that we ”need open software for open data.” On numerous occasions, we see wonderful visualization techniques at conferences and in the IEEE TVCG journal, but rarely do we see the source code with some sample datasets being made available. I particularly applaud efforts such as Many eyes, VisTrails and some other visualization toolkits (which I cant think of right now) that allow not only visualization but also some information regarding how the visualization was created. Vistrails goes much farther and even provides detailed information regarding the steps taken by a user to reach a certain point.
Tamara also proposed a common framework which seems inspired by the field of security and software engineering. It was an interesting way to deal with providing visualization solutions to real world application domain problems. Here slides can be found at www.cs.ubc.ca/~tmm/talks/vis08/vis08.pdf
I think that some of the ideas that they discussed in the panel are crucial to our field of visualization (not just infovis). We need to make sure that we have something more than a long list of papers (textbooks/introductory 1-day workshops at conferences for first time attendees) for new students and practitioners. I am glad to see such enthusiasm and fervor as was palpable at the panel and hope to see many more such events that make us think as a community. I wasnt able to attend the entire panel and so if any of you have any comments on the same, please feel free to add them here.
Building a Research Group in Visualization
Panelists: Hamish Carr, Sheelagh Carpendale, Thomas Ertl, Helwig Hauser, Chris Johnson, Min Chen, Stephen North
This panel was hosted by Hamish Carr, who is at the University College Dublin. The panel started out with each of the esteemed panelists discussing what worked and how things worked out for them as a researcher as well as a research group.
Sheelagh Carpendale spoke first and basically said that she had identified five components to ‘success’ as regards forming a creative, productive research group. The five components are (i) Collaboration – Where multiple students collaborate and get more done by helping each other out. (ii) Competition – where students or sub-groups within the lab compete in a healthy manner towards evaluating techniques, developing software modules etc. (iii) Mentoring – Each new student is paired up with a senior member in the lab to help with adjusting to the lab as well as getting up to speed with research in the field. (iv) Individualism – It is critical to identify individual pieces for students so that they can claim ownership of a part of the project. She mentioned that its also important to encourage students to think on their own. (v) Scaffolding – Last but not the least, scaffolding is the glue that provides a productive environment to the students and researchers in the lab. Providing students with sufficient, high quality resources helps them achieve their goals as well as helps the faculty member achieve their goals.
Min Chen focused on challenges of leading a smallish research group. He spoke about how the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) process helped and shaped his research group as well as the department’s growth at Swansea University, UK. Particularly, he spoke about how he read books on managing groups such as ‘Handbook of Small Group Research‘ by A. Paul Hare, which apparently is out of circulation. The amusing part of his talk was that the book had examined criminal gangs and figured out some of the rules and ideas about what works and doesnt work from observing gang leaders and the gang as a whole. He also spoke on how their group outings are mostly research focused and that has helped them grow as well as form connections with other faculty in the department.
Thomas Ertl spoke next on how his experience in astrophysics as well as industry helped him immensely. He said that having started his own company before becoming a faculty member, convinced him of the need of selling. By selling he meant selling an idea, a concept and so on. He said that writing skills can definitely be improved and there is no excuse to poor communication skills. One needs to be able to convince the reader/person sitting in front of you of the viability of your idea/algorithm/system. He said that “Success is a combination of individual performance and how others perceive you.” He said that in his lab he has always encouraged collaboration as opposed to competition.
Helwig Hauser spoke about the balance between demands (financial, research, departmental) as a professor versus own choices as regards research, research topic etc. He said that one should always keep an eye on the practical assets when conducting research. He defined them as software, algorithms and tools. He also spoke about the need to balance reactive vs proactive approaches to research. In some cases, one needs to work on a project to fund the research that one is more interested in.
Chris Johnson discussed how his small research lab of one student grew to a small research group and that grew into a large research group which in turn grew into a centre and now its a huge institute (Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute). He said that only through collaborations and having a big group of smart people around you, can you do more interesting science than just by working by yourself. He spoke abut how its always challenging to manage large groups but he said that they are very careful when hiring new faculty/researchers since one disgruntled person can make the environment unproductive.
Stephen North from AT&T Research labs gave the industry perspective to managing research groups. He said that the funding is more or less stable but its very important to have executive support from within the company. He said that long term goals and views are important for a research group, but also said that its not always possible to meet all the long term goals.
This was followed by an excellent discussion where attendees asked panelists some insightful questions. Instead of trying to summarize the interaction, I would like to direct you to Carlos Scheidegger’s excellent summarization of the Q&A session that followed.
Unfortunately, I could not make it to the Visual Analytics panel. Please let me know if any of you attended that session.
What Art Can Tell Us About the Brain
Margaret S. Livingstone, Professor of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School
I knew the keynote talk at the IEEE Visualization conference was going to be interesting when the student volunteer at the door handed me stereo glasses before the talk. The talk was focused on introducing concepts about color and luminance that artists have been using effectively for hundreds of years.
In the first part of the talk, she focused on introducing concepts such as centre-surround.
Some of the highlights from her talk are as follows:
- In some cases, color contrast is not equal to luminance contrast.
- People are good at recognizing objects from different points of view. This might be interesting since there seems to be considerable amount of work in graphics and visualization on finding the ‘best’ view for a particular dataset.
- Equiluminance – In the paper “Vernier and Displacement Thresholds in Equiluminance” by Masami Funakawa, equiluminance is introduced as follows
The notion of equiluminance is based upon the assumption that in the human visual system there are two kinds of visual pathway, i.e., luminance and chromatic pathway. An equiluminous stimulus varies in color, but not in luminance, so that it is assumed to be signaled by the chromatic system, but not by the luminance system. In psychophysical studies these stimuli are used to isolate and probe the chromatic system.
This webpage describes the use of equiluminance in art and how luminance affects our perception http://www.webexhibits.org/colorart/anuszkiewicz.html
- Depth can be conveyed using motion, shading, perspective projection, occlusion and stereopsis.
- Luminance contrast: As long as the luminance is appropriate, shape can be conveyed. She showed some interesting examples of paintings [Matisse's The Woman in a Hat] and visual representations, where the colors were unnatural but it did not affect the perceived shape of face/object.
- Yellow, Blue and White, when used appropriately can convey motion in static images. This was demonstrated by showing some work by Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s Rotating Snakes (left image below) and Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie. It reminded me of the SIGGRAPH 2008 paper on
Self-Animating Images: Illusory Motion Using Repeated Asymmetric Patterns by Ming-Te Chi et al.
The images in this paper seem to use a similar principle and are very effective and conveying motion.
- Our central vision has high acuity whereas our peripheral vision was lower acuity. We dont seem to notice the fact that our peripheral vision has lower resolution since we move our eyes rapidly over scenes. This reminded me of the keynote from IEEE Vis 2004, where the speaker, Wilson Geisler, gave an amazing demonstration of this phenomena.
She said that Mona Lisa’s smile was particularly enigmatic since one feels her expression changing depending on whether one focuses on the eyes or the mouth. Her lab has conducted research on the same and by filtering if they have been able to create representations of how our peripheral and central vision interpret the painting, as shown here
The last part of the talk focused on the use of stereopsis by artists in making more realistic paintings. She found that many artists lack the ability to see stereopsis and that makes them see a flat world which they capture on canvas. This can be identified by looking at the glint in the eye of the photo/painting and if both the glints are not synchronized, chances are that the person lacks the ability to see stereopsis. Through her research, she found many famous artists to have misaligned eyes including the painter Rembrandt. Photographs of Babe Ruth too seemed to imply that he had misaligned eyes.
The end of the talk kept us wanting for more and I guess that implies that it was a great keynote talk.
The InfoVis 2008 was an extremely enjoyable and interesting talk where Jake actually talked about some of the truth that visualization researchers need to here. It was very interesting to hear how he
focused on information-centricity and how focusing on the data and information is critical.
What most strongly resonated with me was the emphasis on “Visualization-based interaction”. He
said that visualizations needs to go beyond simply showing information to the user and start focusing on becoming a rich medium for exploration, annotation and sharing.
Most of the remaining talk focused on how his company had dealt with some of the challenges
of deploying a visualization software, Command post of the future (CPOF) where they needed to get real time data to military personnel for facilitate fast decision making and reduce the uncertainty for all the
parties involved. The ability to share and collaborate remotely made it a success and I think it is truly a fascinating visualization story.
He introduced a concept of collaboration literacy which extends the concept of visual literacy
and verbal literacy. Visual literacy and verbal literacy are well known. Collaboration literacy discusses how we collaborate and how we learn to collaborate, right from simple daily face-to-face meetings to virtual telepresence.
Some of the things that he mentioned that according to me are critical for us visualization researchers are:
- We need to realize that visualizations are the medium that users use to understand information.
- Dont make users do extra work. I completely agree with this and I think that Google’s success
has been partly due to this exact reason. For example, now when we try to search for keywords
in Google, they suggest commonly used keywords that will make it easier to search.
- More ways to incorporate self-synchronization where users across the board are able to understand
the information and are able to synchronize their knowledge with what other users have at that time.
Alternatively, some annotations and interactions can let one know that the user on the other
side has understand some key concepts and so they are on the same page and start interacting from there on.