Showtime: increasing viewer understanding of animated data structures

R Shannon, AJ Quigley, Patrick Nixon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    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 publicationUnknown Host Publication
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventAVI '10 Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces - Roma, Italy
    Duration: 1 Jan 2010 → …


    ConferenceAVI '10 Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces
    Period1/01/10 → …



    • Information visualization
    • time-series
    • graphs
    • dynamic graph drawing
    • temporal manipulation

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