The 'Mental map' versus 'Static aesthetic' compromise in dynamic graphs: a user study

Saffrey, P. and Purchase, H.C. (2008) The 'Mental map' versus 'Static aesthetic' compromise in dynamic graphs: a user study. In: Plimmer, B. and Weber, G. (eds.) Proceedings Of The Ninth Conference On Australasian User Interface (AUIC2008), Wollongong, NSW, January. Series: ACM International Conference Proceeding series (314). ACS, pp. 85-93. ISBN 9781920682576

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The design of automatic layout algorithms for single graphs is a well established field, and some recent studies show how these algorithms affect human understanding. By contrast, layout algorithms for graphs that change over time are relatively immature, and few studies exist to evaluate their effectiveness empirically. This paper presents two new dynamic graph layout algorithms and empirical investigations of how effective these algorithms are with respect to human understanding. Central to each algorithm is the "mental map": the degree to which the layout supports continuous understanding. This work aims to evaluate the importance of the mental map, alongside traditional static graph aesthetics, in answering questions about dynamic graphs. We discover that a simple concept of the mental map is not sufficient for increasing understanding of the graph.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Saffrey, Dr Peter and Purchase, Dr Helen
Authors: Saffrey, P., and Purchase, H.C.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Journal Name:ACM International Conference Proceeding Series

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
426601Empirical Analysis of Dynamic Graph LayoutHelen PurchaseEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/D077982/1Computing Science