Changing the view: towards the theory of visualisation comprehension

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The core problem of the evaluation of information visualisation is that the end product of visualisation - the comprehension of the information from the data - is difficult to measure objectively. This paper outlines a description of visualisation comprehension based on two existing theories of perception: principles of perceptual organisation and the reverse hierarchy theory. The resulting account of the processes involved in visualisation comprehension enables evaluation that is not only objective, but also non-comparative, providing an absolute efficiency classification. Finally, as a sample application of this approach, an experiment studying the benefits of interactivity in 3D scatterplots is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings
Subtitle of host publicationInformation Visualisation IV 2009
EditorsEbad Banissi, Liz Stuart, Theodor G. Wyeld, Mikael Jern, Gennady Andrienko, Nasrullah Memon, Reda Alhajj, Remo Aslak Burkhard, Georges Grinstein, Dennis Groth, Anna Ursyn, Jimmy Johansson, Camilla Forsell, Urska Cvek, Marjan Trutschl, Francis T. Marchese, Carsten Maple, Andrew J. Cowell, Andrew Vande Moere
Place of PublicationLos Alamitos, CA
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780769537337
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009
Event13th International Conference on Information Visualisation - Barcelon, Spain
Duration: 15 Jul 200917 Jul 2009
Conference number: 13


Conference13th International Conference on Information Visualisation
Abbreviated titleIV 2009


  • Perceptual organisation
  • Visualisation comprehension
  • Information visualisation


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