Oregon State University

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PhD Final Oral Examination – Tuan Pham


Tuesday, June 4, 2013 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Interactive Visualization of Diversity in Multivariate Data Sets Unified across Fields of Study
The study of the diversity of multivariate objects shares common characteristics across disciplines, including ecology, microbiology, and organizational management. Nevertheless, to some degree, experts in these three disciplines have adopted separate diversity concepts and analysis techniques, limiting the ability of potentially sharing and cross comparing these concerns. Moreover, while complex diversity data may benefit from exploratory data analysis, most of the existing techniques emphasize confirmatory analysis based on statistical metrics and models. To bridge these gaps, interactive visualization is especially appealing because of its potential to allow users to explore diversity data in a direct and holistic way.

This dissertation addresses the problem of designing multivariate visualizations that support exploration and communication of diversity patterns and processes in multivariate data. To this aim, the dissertation presents design considerations as well as implementation and evaluation of interactive visualizations targeting diversity analysis. The contributing visualization techniques and tools include (1) Diversity Map--a novel multivariate space-filling representation emphasizing diversity patterns in separate attributes; (2) Ecological Distributions and Trends Explorer (EcoDATE)--a web-based visual-analysis tool that is built upon Diversity Map and facilitates the exploratory analysis of long-term ecological data with an emphasis on diversity patterns and temporal trends; and (3) HIST--a visual representation for communicating team diversity faultlines across multiple attributes that is based on multiple linked, stacked histograms. Drawing upon lessons from these designs, this dissertation cross compares the literature of species diversity (ecology), microbial diversity (microbiology), and workgroup diversity (organizational management) and introduces a unified taxonomy of analytical tasks to guide the creation and evaluation of future diversity visualizations. The design considerations, visualization techniques, tools, and task taxonomy are evaluated and refined in empirical user studies involving human participants and subject-matter experts.

Major Advisor: Ron Metoyer
Committee: Julia Jones
Committee: Margaret Burnett
Committee: Carlos Jensen
Committee: Eugene Zhang
GCR: James Coakley 


Kelley Engineering Center (campus map)
2114
Nicole Thompson
1 541 737 3617
Nicole.Thompson at oregonstate.edu
Sch Elect Engr/Comp Sci
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