Interactive Information Visualization
to Explore Temporal Data

Team  Wolfgang Aigner, Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Software Technology and Interactive System, Vienna, Austria
Silvia Miksch, Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Software Technology and Interactive System, Vienna, Austria
Contact Person  Wolfgang Aigner
Project  Information Visualization is mainly concerned with the representation of non-physical data like medical patient records or business data. Time is a very important data dimension in many domains that is different from others. A number of novel Information Visualization methods have been developed in order to facilitate the exploration of data across temporal contexts, but most of these methods are domain specific and only take application specific time aspects into account.

My thesis work aims for providing a general framework for supporting the interactive visual exploration of temporal data over a broad range of domains and applications.

The approach I chose for achieving this goal is based on the visualization reference model. This model will be extended by the denotation of temporal attributes via meta data along a versatile time model. Furthermore, interactive overview visualizations of temporal data sets will be provided as starting point for the visual exploration process. The design of user interfaces and visualization methods will be performed using Interaction Design and Usability Engineering methods.
Research Questions

Main Question:
  • How can Information Visualization be used to support the exploration process of time-oriented parameters with different data types to identify trends, pattern, and relationships?
Sub Questions:
  • Are Information Visualization methods that are suited for this task generally applicable (application independent)?
  • To what extent is the use of meta data suitable for this process?
  • Which time- and meta-models support the exploration task?
  • Can State-of-the-Art Interaction Design and Usability Engineering methods support the development process?
These questions cover the main areas of my intended research and will serve as means to evaluate the outcome of my work.

>> Thesis Proposal
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Related Work 
Web Resources
  1. Allen, J. F., Maintaining Knowledge About Temporal Intervals, Communications of the ACM, 26(11), 832-843, 1983.
  2. Allen, J. F., Time and Time Again: The Many Ways to Represent Time, International Journal of Intelligent Systems, 6(4), 341-355, 1991.
  3. Card, S., MacKinlay, J. and Shneiderman, B. (Eds.), Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers: San Francisco, CA, 1998.
  4. Combi, C., Pozzi, G., HMAP - A Temporal Data Model Managing Intervals with Different Granularities and Indeterminacy from Natural Language Sentences. VLDB Journal 9(4): 294-311, 2001.
  5. Müller, W. and Schumann, H., Visualization Methods for Time-Dependent Data - an Overview, Proceedings of Winter Simulation (WSC’03), New Orleans, 2003.
  6. Nocke, T. and Schumann, H., Meta Data for Visual Data Mining, Proceedings Computer Graphics and Imaging (CGIM 2002), Kaua'i, Hawaii, 2002.
  7. Preece, J., Rogers, Y. and Sharp, H., Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction, John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY, 2002.
  8. Shneiderman, B., The Eyes Have It: A Task by Data Type Taxonomy for Information Visualizations, Proceedings of the IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages, 336-343, IEEE Computer Society Press, 1996
  9. Silva, S.F. and Catarci, T., Visualization of Linear Time-Oriented Data: A Survey, Proceedings of the First International Conference on Web Information Systems Engineering, Hong Kong, 2000.
  10. Ware, C., Information Visualization: Perception for Design,  Morgan Kaufmann: San Francisco, CA, 2000.

Funding  This project is supported by “Fonds zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung - FWF” (Austrian Science Fund), grant P15467-INF.