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Modeling and Leveraging Analytic Focus During Exploratory Visual Analysis

01/21/2021
by   Zhilan Zhou, et al.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Visual analytics systems enable highly interactive exploratory data analysis. Across a range of fields, these technologies have been successfully employed to help users learn from complex data. However, these same exploratory visualization techniques make it easy for users to discover spurious findings. This paper proposes new methods to monitor a user's analytic focus during visual analysis of structured datasets and use it to surface relevant articles that contextualize the visualized findings. Motivated by interactive analyses of electronic health data, this paper introduces a formal model of analytic focus, a computational approach to dynamically update the focus model at the time of user interaction, and a prototype application that leverages this model to surface relevant medical publications to users during visual analysis of a large corpus of medical records. Evaluation results with 24 users show that the modeling approach has high levels of accuracy and is able to surface highly relevant medical abstracts.

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