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ML-based Visualization Recommendation: Learning to Recommend Visualizations from Data

by   Xin Qian, et al.

Visualization recommendation seeks to generate, score, and recommend to users useful visualizations automatically, and are fundamentally important for exploring and gaining insights into a new or existing dataset quickly. In this work, we propose the first end-to-end ML-based visualization recommendation system that takes as input a large corpus of datasets and visualizations, learns a model based on this data. Then, given a new unseen dataset from an arbitrary user, the model automatically generates visualizations for that new dataset, derive scores for the visualizations, and output a list of recommended visualizations to the user ordered by effectiveness. We also describe an evaluation framework to quantitatively evaluate visualization recommendation models learned from a large corpus of visualizations and datasets. Through quantitative experiments, a user study, and qualitative analysis, we show that our end-to-end ML-based system recommends more effective and useful visualizations compared to existing state-of-the-art rule-based systems. Finally, we observed a strong preference by the human experts in our user study towards the visualizations recommended by our ML-based system as opposed to the rule-based system (5.92 from a 7-point Likert scale compared to only 3.45).


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