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BioNetIllustration: User Centric Illustrations of Biological Networks

In living systems, one molecule is commonly involved in several distinct physiological functions. The roles of molecules are commonly summarized in pathway diagrams, which, however, are abstract, hierarchically nested and thus is difficult to comprehend especially by non-expert audience. The primary goal of this research in visualization is to intuitively support the comprehensive understanding of relationships among biological networks using interactively computed illustrations. Illustrations, especially in textbooks of biology are carefully designed to clearly present reactions between organs as well as interactions within cells. Automatic generation of illustrative visualizations of biological networks is thus the technical content of this proposal. Automatic generation of hand-drawn illustrations has been a challenging task due to the difficulty of algorithmically describing a human creative process such as evaluating and selecting significant information and composing meaningful explanations in a visually plausible manner. The project also involves experts from several disciplines including network and medical visualization, data mining, systems biology as well as perceptual psychology. The result will provide a new direction for physiological process analysis and accelerate the knowledge transfer not only within experts but also to the public. Acknowledgment: The project has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 747985.