Spatially and temporally coherent visual summaries

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When exploring large time-varying data sets, visual summaries are a useful tool to identify time intervals of interest for further consideration. A typical approach is to represent the data elements at each time step in a compact one-dimensional form or via a one-dimensional ordering. Such 1D representations can then be placed in temporal order along a time line. There are two main criteria to assess the quality of the resulting visual summary: spatial quality -- how well does the 1D representation capture the structure of the data at each time step, and stability -- how coherent are the 1D representations over consecutive time steps or temporal ranges? We focus on techniques that create such visual summaries using 1D orderings for entities moving in 2D. We introduce stable techniques based on well-established dimensionality-reduction techniques: Principle Component Analysis, Sammon mapping, and t-SNE. Our Stable Principal Component method is explicitly parametrized for stability, allowing a trade-off between the two quality criteria. We conduct computational experiments that compare our stable methods to various state-of-the-art approaches using a set of well-established quality metrics that capture the two main criteria. These experiments demonstrate that our stable algorithms outperform existing methods on stability, without sacrificing spatial quality or efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1912.00719v1
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2019


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