Evaluation of Alternative Glyph Designs for Time Series Data in a Small Multiple Setting

Abstract : We present the results of a controlled experiment to investigate the performance of different temporal glyph designs in a small multiple setting. Analyzing many time series at once is a common yet difficult task in many domains, for example in network monitoring. Several visualization techniques have, thus, been proposed in the literature. Among these, iconic displays or glyphs are an appropriate choice because of their expressiveness and effective use of screen space. Through a controlled experiment, we compare the performance of four glyphs that use different combinations of visual variables to encode two properties of temporal data: a) the position of a data point in time and b) the quantitative value of this data point. Our results show that depending on tasks and data density, the chosen glyphs performed differently. Line Glyphs are generally a good choice for peak and trend detection tasks but radial encodings are more effective for reading values at specific temporal locations. From our qualitative analysis we also contribute implications for designing temporal glyphs for small multiple settings.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 10:20:31 AM
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Johannes Fuchs, Fabian Fischer, Florian Mansmann, Enrico Bertini, Petra Isenberg. Evaluation of Alternative Glyph Designs for Time Series Data in a Small Multiple Setting. Proceedings of the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), Apr 2013, New York, United States. pp.3237-3246, ⟨10.1145/2470654.2466443⟩. ⟨hal-00781504⟩

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