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Empirical Study of Focus-Plus-Context and Aggregation Techniques for the Visualization of Streaming Data...

by Eric Ragan, Andrew Stamps, John R Goodall
Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces
Book Title
AVI '20: Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces
Publication Date
Page Number
Conference Name
International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI)
Conference Location
Ischia, Italy
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

Analysis of streaming data often involves both real-time monitoring of incoming data as well as contextual awareness of data history. A focus-plus-context approach can support both goals, with variable levels of visual aggregation making it possible to provide a high level of detail for incoming and recent data while providing contextual information about recent history. Visual aggregation reduces data resolution in order to show the context of data over large periods of time within a limited display space. With a controlled experiment, we evaluated the effectiveness of different types of aggregation for four types of stream-analysis tasks. Overall, the results show that a focus-plus-context design has little negative impact on the ability to successfully monitor and analyze streaming data, making it possible to show longer periods of time than other approaches. However, visual aggregation can be problematic for trend recognition tasks. This research demonstrates how the effectiveness of the visualization depends on the specifics of the analysis task.