Parallel Bubbles: Evaluation of three techniques for representing mixed categorical and continuous data in Parallel Coordinates

TitleParallel Bubbles: Evaluation of three techniques for representing mixed categorical and continuous data in Parallel Coordinates
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsTuor, R, Evéquoz, F, Lalanne, D
Conference NameIVAPP 2018
Conference LocationFunchal, Madeira - Portugal
KeywordsCategorial Data, Parallel Coordinates, User Study, Visualization
Abstract

Parallel Coordinates are a widely used visualization method for multivariate data analysis tasks. In this paper we discuss the techniques that aim to enhance the representation of categorical data in Parallel Coordinates. We propose Parallel Bubbles, a method that improves the graphical perception of categorical dimensions in Parallel Coordinates by adding a visual encoding of frequency. Our main contribution consists in a user study that compares the performance of three variants of Parallel Coordinates, with similarity and frequency tasks. We base our design choices on the literature review, and on the research guidelines provided by Johansson and Forsell (2016). Parallel Bubbles are a good trade-off between Parallel Coordinates and Parallel Sets in terms of performance for both types of tasks. Adding a visual encoding of frequency leads to a significant difference in performance for a frequency-based task consisting in assessing the most represented category. This study is the first of a series that will aim at testing the three visualization methods in tasks centered on the continuous axis, and where we assume that the performance of Parallel Sets will be worse.