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Ahn, J., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (April 2011)
A Task Taxonomy of Network Evolution Analysis

Visualization is a useful tool for understanding the nature of networks. The recent growth of social media requires more powerful visualization techniques beyond static network diagrams. One of the most important challenges is the visualization of temporal network evolution. In order to provide strong temporal visualization methods, we need to understand what tasks users accomplish. This study provides a taxonomy of the temporal network visualization tasks. We identify (1) the entities, (2) the properties to be visualized, and (3) the hierarchy of temporal features, which were extracted by surveying existing temporal network visualization systems. By building and examining the task taxonomy, we report which tasks have been covered so far and suggest additions for designing the future visualizations. We also present example visualizations constructed using the task taxonomy for a social networking site in order to validate the quality of the taxonomy.

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