Showtime: increasing viewer understanding of animated data structures

Ross Shannon, Aaron Quigley, Paddy Nixon

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Visualisations of dynamic networks are animated over time, reflecting changes in the underlying data structure. As viewers of these visualisations, it is up to us to accurately perceive and keep up with the constantly shifting view, mentally noting as visual elements are added, removed, changed and rearranged, sometimes at great pace. In a complex data set with a lot happening, this can put a strain on the observer’s perceptions, with changes in layout and visual population disrupting their internalised mental model of the visualisation, making it difficult to understand what the changes represent. We present Showtime, a novel visualisation technique which dilates the flow of time so that observers have proportionally more time to understand each change based on the density of activity in the visualisation. This is paired with a novel timeline element which tracks the flow of time visually.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAVI '10: Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces
EditorsGiuseppe Santucci
Place of PublicationUnited States
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781450300766
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI 2010) - Rome, Rome, Italy
Duration: 26 May 201028 May 2010


ConferenceInternational Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI 2010)
Abbreviated titleAVI 2010


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