Section: New Results


  • The attraction effect is a well-studied cognitive bias in decision making research, where one's choice between two alternatives is influenced by the presence of an irrelevant (dominated) third alternative. In collaboration with EPI Aviz, we examined in [13] whether this cognitive bias, so far only tested with three alternatives and simple presentation formats such as numerical tables, text and pictures, also appears in visualizations. In a series of crowdsource experiments, we observed this cognitive bias in visualizations (namely scatterplots), even in larger sets of alternatives, never considered before, where the number of alternatives is too large for numerical tables to be practical. We discussed implications for future research on how to further study and possibly alleviate the attraction effect.

  • With colleagues from the University of Konstanz [14] we concluded previous work on data glyphs, i.e., visual marks that encode multiple dimensions to one or more visual variables. We provided a systematic review of experimental studies on data glyphs from the past 60 years, describing the types of glyphs and design variations tested, the tasks under which they were analyzed, and study results. Based on our meta analysis of all results, we further contributed a set of design implications and a discussion on open research directions.

  • In [11], with colleagues from INRA, we provided an overview of a framework for Evolutionary Visual Exploration (EVE) that guides users in exploring large search spaces. EVE uses an interactive evolutionary algorithm to steer the exploration of multidimensional datasets towards two-dimensional projections that are interesting to the analyst. Our method smoothly combines automatically calculated metrics and user input in order to propose pertinent views to the user. While previously we showed that using EVE, domain experts were able to formulate interesting hypothesis and reach new insights when exploring freely, our new findings indicate that users, guided by the interactive evolutionary algorithm, are able to converge quickly to an interesting view of their data when a clear task is specified. Our work aims at building a bridge between the domains of visual analytics and interactive evolution.