Oregon State University

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PhD Oral Preliminary Examination – Tuan Pham


Friday, May 25, 2012 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Interactive Visualization of Diversity

Understanding the diversity of a large set of multivariate objects and its cause and effect is an important problem in many domains, including ecology, microbiology, and organizational management. However, to date, little work has been done to help domain experts achieve this kind of understanding. Visual analysis, when combined with traditional analysis approaches, is especially appealing for this task because it offers the potential to allow users to explore data directly, formulate and refine hypotheses regarding diversity quickly, and discuss their findings with others, prior to further statistical analysis. In my dissertation, I propose to define, design, implement, deploy, and evaluate visualization techniques that support data exploration where diversity is a key element of the analysis process. Thus far, I have conducted two studies. First, I designed a novel space-filling diversity representation and I evaluated the representation in a formal user study. Second, based on the representation, I developed an interactive web-based visual-analysis tool, the Diversity Map, and targeted it to the problem of ecological diversity analysis. To develop and evaluate the tool, I have taken a user-centered design approach and work closely with ecologists during all stages of the design process. In the next phase of my research, I propose to extend my preliminary work to other domains such as microbiology and organizational management. In particular, I will conduct multiple user-centered design studies with domain experts such as microbiologists and management researchers. I will also guide my design elements by information visualization design principles and guidelines.

This work will have the following contributions:

1. Unified understanding of the data analysis process of diversity across domains such as ecology, microbiology, and organizational management.

2. Identification of a set of both existing and novel visual representation and interaction techniques well-suited to the diversity problem across the three domains.

3. An open-source diversity visualization framework and three specific tools built on top of it for interactive visualization of ecological, microbial, and organizational diversity data.

4. Results and lessons learned from the user-centered design studies with ecologists, microbiologists, and management researchers.

Major Advisor: Ron Metoyer
Committee: Margaret Burnett
Committee: Carlos Jensen
Committee: Julia Jones
GCR: Jim Coakley


Kelley Engineering Center (campus map)
2087
Shannon Thompson
1 541 737 7234
shannon.thompson at oregonstate.edu
Sch Elect Engr/Comp Sci
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