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Evaluation of a Bundling Technique for Parallel Coordinates

09/28/2011
by   Julian Heinrich, et al.
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We describe a technique for bundled curve representations in parallel-coordinates plots and present a controlled user study evaluating their effectiveness. Replacing the traditional C^0 polygonal lines by C^1 continuous piecewise Bezier curves makes it easier to visually trace data points through each coordinate axis. The resulting Bezier curves can then be bundled to visualize data with given cluster structures. Curve bundles are efficient to compute, provide visual separation between data clusters, reduce visual clutter, and present a clearer overview of the dataset. A controlled user study with 14 participants confirmed the effectiveness of curve bundling for parallel-coordinates visualization: 1) compared to polygonal lines, it is equally capable of revealing correlations between neighboring data attributes; 2) its geometric cues can be effective in displaying cluster information. For some datasets curve bundling allows the color perceptual channel to be applied to other data attributes, while for complex cluster patterns, bundling and color can represent clustering far more clearly than either alone.

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