Graphs are often visualized using node-link representations: vertices are depicted as dots, edges are depicted as (poly)lines connecting two vertices. A directed edge running from vertex A to B is generally visualized using an arrow representation: a (poly)line with a triangular arrowhead at vertex B. Although this representation is intuitive, it is not guaranteed that a user is able to determine edge direction as quickly and unambiguously as possible; alternative representations that exhibit less occlusion and visual clutter might be better suited. To investigate this, we developed five additional directed-edge representations using combinations of shape and color. We performed a user study in which subjects performed different tasks on a collection of graphs using these representations and combinations thereof to investigate which representation is best in terms of speed and accuracy. We present our initial hypotheses, the outcome of the user studies, and recommendations regarding directed-edge visualization.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings 27th SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2009, Boston MA, USA, April 4-9, 2009)|
|Editors||D.R. Olsen, R.B. Arthur, K. Hinckley, M. Ringel Morris, S.E. Hudson, S. Greenberg|
|Place of Publication||New York NY|
|Publisher||Association for Computing Machinery, Inc|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
Holten, D. H. R., & Wijk, van, J. J. (2009). A user study on visualizing directed edges in graphs. In D. R. Olsen, R. B. Arthur, K. Hinckley, M. Ringel Morris, S. E. Hudson, & S. Greenberg (Eds.), Proceedings 27th SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2009, Boston MA, USA, April 4-9, 2009) (pp. 2299-2308). New York NY: Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. https://doi.org/10.1145/1518701.1519054