A Model for Structure-based Comparison of Many Categories in Small-Multiple Displays

Johannes Kehrer, Harald Piringer, Wolfgang Berger, Meister Eduard Gröller
A Model for Structure-based Comparison of Many Categories in Small-Multiple Displays
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 19(12):2287-2296, December 2013. [Draft] [Slides]

Information

Abstract

Many application domains deal with multi-variate data that consists of both categorical and numerical information. Small-multiple displays are a powerful concept for comparing such data by juxtaposition. For comparison by overlay or by explicit encoding of computed differences, however, a specification of references is necessary. In this paper, we present a formal model for defining semantically meaningful comparisons between many categories in a small-multiple display. Based on pivotized data that are hierarchically partitioned by the categories assigned to the x and y axis of the display, we propose two alternatives for structure-based comparison within this hierarchy. With an absolute reference specification, categories are compared to a fixed reference category. With a relative reference specification, in contrast, a semantic ordering of the categories is considered when comparing them either to the previous or subsequent category each. Both reference specifications can be defined at multiple levels of the hierarchy (including aggregated summaries), enabling a multitude of useful comparisons. We demonstrate the general applicability of our model in several application examples using different visualizations that compare data by overlay or explicit encoding of differences.

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BibTeX

@article{kehrer-2013-SBC,
  title =      "A Model for Structure-based Comparison of Many Categories in
               Small-Multiple Displays",
  author =     "Johannes Kehrer and Harald Piringer and Wolfgang Berger and
               Meister Eduard Gr{"o}ller",
  year =       "2013",
  abstract =   "Many application domains deal with multi-variate data that
               consists of both categorical and numerical information.
               Small-multiple displays are a powerful concept for comparing
               such data by juxtaposition. For comparison by overlay or by
               explicit encoding of computed differences, however, a
               specification of references is necessary. In this paper, we
               present a formal model for defining semantically meaningful
               comparisons between many categories in a small-multiple
               display. Based on pivotized data that are hierarchically
               partitioned by the categories assigned to the x and y axis
               of the display, we propose two alternatives for
               structure-based comparison within this hierarchy. With an
               absolute reference specification, categories are compared to
               a fixed reference category. With a relative reference
               specification, in contrast, a semantic ordering of the
               categories is considered when comparing them either to the
               previous or subsequent category each. Both reference
               specifications can be defined at multiple levels of the
               hierarchy (including aggregated summaries), enabling a
               multitude of useful comparisons. We demonstrate the general
               applicability of our model in several application examples
               using different visualizations that compare data by overlay
               or explicit encoding of differences.",
  month =      dec,
  journal =    "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics",
  number =     "12",
  volume =     "19",
  pages =      "2287--2296",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2013/kehrer-2013-SBC/",
}