Attractive Flicker: Guiding Attention in Dynamic Narrative Visualizations

Manuela Waldner, Mathieu Le Muzic, Matthias Bernhard, Werner Purgathofer, Ivan Viola
Attractive Flicker: Guiding Attention in Dynamic Narrative Visualizations
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 20(12):2456-2465, December 2014. [paper] [Preview video] [Submission video]

Information

Abstract

Focus+context techniques provide visual guidance in visualizations by giving strong visual prominence to elements of interest while the context is suppressed. However, finding a visual feature to enhance for the focus to pop out from its context in a large dynamic scene, while leading to minimal visual deformation and subjective disturbance, is challenging. This paper proposes Attractive Flicker, a novel technique for visual guidance in dynamic narrative visualizations. We first show that flicker is a strong visual attractor in the entire visual field, without distorting, suppressing, or adding any scene elements. The novel aspect of our Attractive Flicker technique is that it consists of two signal stages: The first “orientation stage” is a short but intensive flicker stimulus to attract the attention to elements of interest. Subsequently, the intensive flicker is reduced to a minimally disturbing luminance oscillation (“engagement stage”) as visual support to keep track of the focus elements. To find a good trade-off between attraction effectiveness and subjective annoyance caused by flicker, we conducted two perceptual studies to find suitable signal parameters. We showcase Attractive Flicker with the parameters obtained from the perceptual statistics in a study of molecular interactions. With Attractive Flicker, users were able to easily follow the narrative of the visualization on a large display, while the flickering of focus elements was not disturbing when observing the context.

Additional Files and Images

Additional images and videos

molecularScene: Screenshot of the large molecular scene used in the final experiment

Additional files

Weblinks

BibTeX

@article{waldner-2014-af,
  title =      " Attractive Flicker: Guiding Attention in Dynamic Narrative
               Visualizations",
  author =     "Manuela Waldner and Mathieu Le Muzic and Matthias Bernhard
               and Werner Purgathofer and Ivan Viola",
  year =       "2014",
  abstract =   "Focus+context techniques provide visual guidance in
               visualizations by giving strong visual prominence to
               elements of interest while the context is suppressed.
               However, finding a visual feature to enhance for the focus
               to pop out from its context in a large dynamic scene, while
               leading to minimal visual deformation and subjective
               disturbance, is challenging. This paper proposes Attractive
               Flicker, a novel technique for visual guidance in dynamic
               narrative visualizations. We first show that flicker is a
               strong visual attractor in the entire visual field, without
               distorting, suppressing, or adding any scene elements. The
               novel aspect of our Attractive Flicker technique is that it
               consists of two signal stages: The first “orientation
               stage” is a short but intensive flicker stimulus to
               attract the attention to elements of interest. Subsequently,
               the intensive flicker is reduced to a minimally disturbing
               luminance oscillation (“engagement stage”) as visual
               support to keep track of the focus elements. To find a good
               trade-off between attraction effectiveness and subjective
               annoyance caused by flicker, we conducted two perceptual
               studies to find suitable signal parameters. We showcase
               Attractive Flicker with the parameters obtained from the
               perceptual statistics in a study of molecular interactions.
               With Attractive Flicker, users were able to easily follow
               the narrative of the visualization on a large display, while
               the flickering of focus elements was not disturbing when
               observing the context.",
  month =      dec,
  journal =    "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics",
  number =     "12",
  volume =     "20",
  pages =      "2456--2465",
  keywords =   "Narrative Visualization, Flicker, Visual Attention",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2014/waldner-2014-af/",
}