A study of advanced visualization literacy

Firat, Elif Emel (2022) A study of advanced visualization literacy. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF (Final Version) (Thesis - as examined) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (25MB) | Preview


Visualization literacy is essential with the widespread advent of visualization techniques to convey complex data. Two noteworthy facets of literacy are user understanding and the discovery of visual patterns with the help of graphical representations. This thesis focuses on studying and advancing visualization literacy and aims to assist understanding and interpretation of visual designs by developing interactive visualization techniques. Our primary objective is to study treemap and parallel coordinates graphic designs which are commonly used to display data. However, they are not easily understood visual representations.

The research literature provides valuable guidance and opportunities for further studies. We begin by completing a comprehensive survey of literature in interactive visualization literacy, where we identify the previous related research and address past and future trends.

One goal is to identify and address barriers to treemap literacy, a popular visual design to display hierarchical data, with the intend of improving novices users' treemap visualization literacy skills. We examine the results of two years of an information visualization assignment in order to investigate the barriers to understanding and creating treemaps. Also, we create a treemap visualization literacy test and propose a pedagogical tool that facilitates both teaching and learning of treemaps to advance treemap visualization literacy.

We also identify and explore barriers to comprehending parallel coordinates plots (PCPs), one of the advanced graphical representations for displaying multivariate and high-dimensional data. We analyze the obstacles to PCP literacy, design a PCP test, and introduce interactive educational software that assists the teaching and learning of PCPs by offering a more active learning experience.

Finally, the parallel coordinates literacy study inspired us to enhance dense parallel coordinates plots. We introduce techniques that facilitate understanding and interpretation of this complex visual design and present data in dense areas, since increasing data size and complexity may make it challenging to decipher and uncover trends and outliers in a confined space. This project is inspired by the collaborative project RAMP VIS.

For reproducibility, both treemap and parallel coordinates literacy tests are provided in Appendix A and B. In addition, the link to software demonstration videos is available in a table presented in the Introduction. More information on the data from the collaborative project presented in Chapter 3 is available in Appendix C. Finally, we offer a supplementary literature review focusing on inclusivity and diversity in data visualization education in Appendix D.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Laramee, Robert
Wilson, Max
Keywords: Visualization literacy, Data, Treemap
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 69337
Depositing User: Firat, Elif
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2022 04:40
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 04:30
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/69337

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View