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Methods and a research agenda for the evaluation of event sequence visualization techniques

: Ruddle, Roy A.; Bernard, Jürgen; May, Thorsten; Lücke-Tieke, Hendrik; Kohlhammer, Jörn

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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
IEEE VIS 2016. Workshop on Temporal and Sequential Event Analysis. Online resource : The Event Event: Temporal & Sequential Event Analysis, October 24, 2016, Baltimore, Maryland
Los Alamitos: IEEE Computer Society, 2016
Paper 9, 4 S.
Workshop on Temporal & Sequential Event Analysis <2016, Baltimore/Md.>
Conference on Visualization (VIS) <2016, Baltimore/Md.>
Konferenzbeitrag, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IGD ()
Visual analytics; information visualization; event sequence visualization; event sequence comparison; evaluation; user study; Guiding Theme: Digitized Work; Guiding Theme: Individual Health; Guiding Theme: Smart City; Research Area: Computer graphics (CG); Research Area: Human computer interaction (HCI)

The present paper asks how can visualization help data scientists make sense of event sequences, and makes three main contributions. The first is a research agenda, which we divide into methods for presentation, interaction & computation, and scale-up. Second, we introduce the concept of Event Maps to help with scale-up, and illustrate coarse-, medium- and fine-grained Event Maps with electronic health record (EHR) data for prostate cancer. Third, in an experiment we investigated participants' ability to judge the similarity of event sequences. Contrary to previous research into categorical data, color and shape were better than position for encoding event type. However, even with simple sequences (5 events of 3 types in the target sequence), participants only got 88% correct despite averaging 7.4 seconds to respond. This indicates that simple visualization techniques are not effective.