[TVCG paper presentation]
Authors: Ronak Etemadpour, Robson Motta, Jose Gustavo de Souza Paiva, Rosane Minghim, Maria Cristina Ferreira de Oliveira, Lars Linsen
Abstract: Similarity-based layouts generated by multidimensional projections or other dimension reduction techniques are commonly used to visualize high-dimensional data. Many projection techniques have been recently proposed addressing different objectives and application domains. Nonetheless, very little is known about the effectiveness of the generated layouts from a user's perspective, how distinct layouts from the same data compare regarding the typical visualization tasks they support, or how domain-specific issues affect the outcome of the techniques. Learning more about projection usage is an important step towards both consolidating their role in high-dimensional data analysis and taking informed decisions when choosing techniques. This work provides a contribution towards this goal. We describe the results of an investigation on the performance of layouts generated by projectiontechniques as perceived by their users. We conducted a controlled user study to test against the following hypotheses: (1) projection performance is task-dependent; (2) certain projections perform better on certain types of tasks; (3) projection performance depends on the nature of the data; and (4) subjects prefer projections with good segregation capability. We generated layouts of high-dimensionaldata with five techniques representative of different projection approaches. As application domains we investigated image and document data. We identified eight typical tasks, three of them related to segregation capability of the projection, three related to projection precision, and two related to incurred visual cluttering. Answers to questions were compared for correctness against `ground truth' computed directly from the data. We also looked at subject confidence and task completion times. Statistical analysis of the collected data resulted in Hypotheses 1 and 3 being confirmed, Hypothesis 2 being confirmed partially and Hypotheses 4 could not be confirmed. We discuss our findings in com- arison with some numerical measures of projection layout quality. Our results offer interesting insight on the use of projection layouts in data visualization tasks and provide a departing point for further systematic investigations.