Exploring the Efficiency of Users’ Visual Analytics Strategies based on Sequence Analysis of Eye Movement Recordings

International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Volume 24 Issue 10 2010, Pages 1559 – 1575: Geospatial Visual Analytics: Focus on Time Special Issue of the ICA Commission on GeoVisualization

A. Çöltekin; S. I. Fabrikant; Martin Lacayo

“Visual analytics is often based on the intuition that highly interactive and dynamic depictions of complex and multivariate databases amplify human capabilities for inference and decision-making, as they facilitate cognitive tasks such as pattern recognition, association, and analytical reasoning (Thomas and Cook 2005). But how do we know whether visual analytics really works? This article offers a generic evaluation approach combining theory- and data-driven methods based on sequence similarity analysis. The approach systematically studies users’ visual interaction strategies when using highly interactive interfaces. We specifically ask whether the efficiency (i.e., speed) of users can be characterized by specific display interaction event sequences, and whether studying user strategies could be employed to improve the (interaction) design of the dynamic displays. We showcase our approach using a very large, fine-grained spatiotemporal dataset of eye movement recordings collected during a controlled human subject experiment with dynamic visual analytics displays. With this methodological approach based on empirical evidence, we hope to contribute to a deeper understanding of how people make inferences and decisions with highly interactive visualization tools and complex displays.”