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ICS 280: Advanced Topics in Information Visualization

Instructor: Alfred Kobsa

Disclaimer: These are guidelines intended to help students plan their work in this course. However, the instructor does reserve the right to make changes.

General Educational Aims: This course will give students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with principles and systems for information visualization. Specific emphasis will be given to
- the critical discussion of the merits and demerits of various visualizations for multivariate data and for information hierarchies,
- the ease of users' interaction with these visualizations, and
- the recognition of commonalities between systems and of success factors.

Specific Objective:   At the conclusion of this course, students will
    - be familiar with major research systems for the visualization of multivariate data and information hierarchies
    - realize the importance of appropriate visualizations and the dangers of inappropriate visualizations
    - realize the importance of interaction aspects when evaluating visualizations
    - be familiar with several commercial applications
    - be able to analze video recordings of user interactions

N.B.: This class does not deal with the visualization of time, graphs (except strict hierachies), scientific visualization, and rendering. It will concentrate on the visualization of relational data and of hierarchies.

Requirements: Some background in HCI is advantageous

Character of the course: seminar with readings, presentations, software demonstrations, lots of discussion, and a term project (video analysis).

Time and location: WF 8:30-9:50, ELH 110


: Conference and journal articles below. Several of them are contained in
     [CMS]:     Stuart K. Card, Jock D. Mackinlay and Ben Shneiderman, eds. (1999): Readings in Information Visualization:
                      Using Vision to Think. San Francisco, CA: Moran Kaufmann Publishers. ISBN 1558605339.
     Robert Spence (2001): Information Visualization. Addison-Wesley and ACM Press.
     Chaomei Chen (1999): Information Visualisation and Virtual Environments. London, New York : Springer. ISBN 1852331364
     Colin Ware: Information Visualization: Perception for Design. Academic Press, ISBN 1-55860-511-8
Grading:  50% for 2 presentations
                 30% for term project
                 20% for in-class participation

Efficient reading: see here
Cheating: see

ICS Deadlines:  Adding this course: 3 weeks ??
                            Dropping this course: 2 weeks ??

Course Notes: click on individual topics below

Office hours: W my office (Rm. CS 430C). Contact me in class or send email beforehand.

Related courses:
280 Advanced Topics in Data Mining
205 Human-Computer Interaction

Course structure:
DateTopicDiscussion Chair
1/9 Overview of Information Visualization I (CMS, 1-27) Alfred Kobsa
1/14 Overview of Information Visualization II (CMS, 1-27) Alfred Kobsa
1/16 • D. Keim, H.-P. Kriegel: VisDB: Database Exploration Using Multidimensional Visualization. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 14(5):40-49, 1994. CMS 126-139, Citeseer
• D. Keim, Ming C. Hao, Umesh Dayal, Meichun Hsu: Pixel bar charts: a visualization technique for very large multi-attributes data sets
Stacy Tang

• M. Ankerst: Visual Data Mining with Pixel-oriented Visualization Techniques. ACM SIGKDD Workshop on Visual Data Mining, San Francisco, CA, 2001
• Mihael Ankerst, Martin Ester, Hans-Peter Kriegel: Towards an Effective Cooperation of the Computer and the User for Classification. ACM SIGKDD Int. Conf. on Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining (KDD-2000), Boston, MA.
PBC Software

Norman Su

• R. Rao, S. Card: The Table Lens: Merging Graphical and Symbolic Representations in an Interactive Focus+Context Visualization for Tabular Information. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'94), pages 318-322, Boston, Massachusetts, April 1994. CMS 343-349, CiteSeer
• P. Pirolli, R. Rao: Table Lens as a Tool for Making Sense of Data. Workshop on Advanced Visual Interfaces, AVI-96, Gubbio, Italy, 1996. CMS 597-615, CiteSeer
• Inxight Eureka Software (evaluation version from instructor, limited to one month)

Mathew Yeh

• M. Spenke, C. Beilken and T. Berlage (1996). The Interactive Table for Product Comparison and Selection. UIST 96 9th Annual Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, Seattle, WA, 41-50. DOI
• Michael Spenke, Christian Beilken: Visual, Interactive Data Mining with InfoZoom – the Financial Data Set. 3rd European Conference on Principles and Practice of Knowledge Discovery in Databases, PKDD '99.
• M. Spenke, C. Beilken (2003): InfoVis 2003 Contest - InfoZoom Entry, Seattle, WA.
• InfoZoom Software (evaluation version from instructor, limited to one month)


• C. Ahlberg, B. Shneiderman: Visual Information Seeking: Tight Coupling of Dynamic Query Filters with Starfield Displays, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'94), pages 313-317, Boston, Massachusetts, April 1994. CMS 244-250, CiteSeer, DOI
• Spotfire Software (evaluation version from instructor, limited to one month)
• Compare with ILOG Discovery Preview regarding funcitionality and usability

Ivan Seredkin

• B. Johnson, B. Shneiderman: Tree-Maps: A Space-Filling Approach to the Visualization of Hierarchical Information Structures. IEEEVisualization ' 91, San Diego, CA, 284--291 (CMS 152-159)
• B. Shneiderman: Tree visualization with treemaps: a 2-d space-filling approach. ACM Transactions on Graphics, vol. 11(1), 1991, 92-99.
Treemap Software


• J. van Wijk, H. van de Wetering: Cushion Treemaps: Visualization of Hierarchical Information. IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization (INFOVIS’99), San Francisco, CA, 73-78. CiteSeer IEEE
SequoiaView Software

Shubha Tandon

• E. Kleiberg, H. van de Wetering, J. van Wijk: Botanical Visualization of Huge Hierarchies. InfoVis 2001: IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization, San Diego, CA, 87-94. IEEE
• Tree Viewer software (evaluation version from instructor, limited to one month)

Stacy Tang

• F. van Ham, H. van de Wetering, J. van Wijk: Beamtrees: Compact Visualization of Large Hierarchies. InfoVis 2002, Boston, MA, 93-100. IEEE
• Beamtrees software (evaluation version from instructor, limited to one month)

Feyi Agagu

• Lamping, J. and R. Rao: The Hyperbolic Browser: A Focus + Context Technique for Visualizing Large Hierarchies.
• Lamping, J., R. Rao and P. Pirolli: A Focus + Context Technique Based on Hyperbolic Geometry for Visualizing Large Hierarchies
• Star Tree software (evaluation version from instructor, limited to one month)

Steven Sun
  • Kobsa: User Experiments with Tree Visualization Systems
• Kobsa, A.: An Empirical Comparison of Three Commercial Information Visualization Systems. InfoVis 2001
Norman Su

• Grosjean, J., Plaisant, C., & Bederson, B. B. (2002) SpaceTree: Design Evolution of a Node Link Tree Browser. InfoVis2002
SpaceTree Software

Steven Sun
  • A. Inselberg: Multidimensional Detective (CMS 107-114) IEEE
• Parallax Software (evaluation version from instructor, limited to one month)
  C. Stolte, P. Hanrahan: Polaris: A System for Query, Analysis and Visualization of Multi-dimensional Relational Databases Feyi Agagu

• B. Bederson, J. Hollan: Pad++: A Zooming Graphical Interface forExploring Alternate Interface Physics (CMS 530-543) DOI
Pad++ software

Ivan Seredkin

• P. Klein, F. Müller, H. Reiterer, T. Limbach: Metadata Visualization with VisMeB
• T. Limbach, H. Reiterer, P. Klein, F. Müller: VisMeB: A Visual Metadata Browser
• Müller F., Klein P., Limbach T., Reiterer H.: Visualization and Interaction Techniques of the Visual Metadata Browser VisMeB
• Limbach T., Reiterer H., Klein P., Müller F.: Visualizing Metadata: LevelTable vs. GranularityTable in the SuperTable/Scatterplot Framework

• VisMeB software (evaluation version from instructor, limited to one month)



• SpiralGlyphics: a visualization system for exploring cyclic multivariate data: 1, 2
SpiralGlyphics Software

Shubha Tandon

Applications and Implications (CMS 625-640)

Matthew Yeh