Dr Simon Wells

sesquipedalia verba

New Paper in Computer Graphics Forum

My latest paper, titled “Design and Evaluation of Visualization Techniques to Facilitate Argument Exploration”, with my recently graduated Ph.D student, Dr Dana Khartabil, and colleagues from Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh University, and Ontario Tech University, has just been published in the Computer Graphics Forum. It is presently in early view status and is yet to be allocated to a specific issue.

This paper reports the design and comparison of three visualizations to represent the structure and content within arguments. Arguments are artifacts of reasoning widely used across domains such as education, policy making, and science. An argument is made up of sequences of statements (premises) which can support or contradict each other, individually or in groups through Boolean operators. Understanding the resulting hierarchical structure of arguments while being able to read the arguments’ text poses problems related to overview, detail, and navigation. Based on interviews with argument analysts we iteratively designed three techniques, each using combinations of tree visualizations (sunburst, icicle), content display (in-situ, tooltip) and interactive navigation. Structured discussions with the analysts show benefits of each these techniques; for example, sunburst being good in presenting overview but showing arguments in-situ is better than pop-ups. A controlleduser study with 21 participants and three tasks shows complementary evidence suggesting that a sunburst with pop-up for the content is the best trade-off solution. Our results can inform visualizations within existing argument visualization tools and increase the visibility of ‘novel-and-effective’ visualizations in the argument visualization community.

Screenshot of our paper on the CGF site