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HCIL-2012-14

Guerra Gomez, J., Buck-Coleman, A., Pack, M., Plaisant, C., Shneiderman, B. (August 2012)
TreeVersity: Interactive Visualizations for Comparing Hierarchical Datasets
Transportation Research Record (TRR), Journal of the Transportation Research Board (2013) -- 21 pages ** Received the Greg Herrington Award from the National Academy of Sciences Transportation Research Board (TRB) for Excellence in Visualization Research.
HCIL-2012-14

Transportation datasets of all kinds are hierarchical in nature, and therefore easily represented in tree structures. Visually comparing the changes in these hierarchical datasets over time can be extremely difficult, even when the trees are relatively small. TreeVersity is a novel interactive visualization that allows users to detect and analyze changes in the structure and value of various components of the tree. TreeVersity uses dual comparison techniques (side-by-side and explicit differences) coupled with a tabular representation to help users understand and explore changes to the tree over time. It uses carefully selected color palettes to show positive/negative, absolute and relative value changes; and glyphs that preattentively show these changes. This paper illustrates the value of this visualization through several short case studies using Federal transportation budget data, airline maintenance budgets, transportation publication data, and hypothesizes about TreeVersity’ s relevance for future congestion trend analysis. Video demonstrations of this research can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/treeversity.



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