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Proceedings Paper

Visualizing weighted networks: a performance comparison of adjacency matrices versus node-link diagrams
Author(s): John P. McIntire; O. Isaac Osesina; Cecilia Bartley; M. Eduard Tudoreanu; Paul R. Havig; Eric E. Geiselman
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Paper Abstract

Ensuring the proper and effective ways to visualize network data is important for many areas of academia, applied sciences, the military, and the public. Fields such as social network analysis, genetics, biochemistry, intelligence, cybersecurity, neural network modeling, transit systems, communications, etc. often deal with large, complex network datasets that can be difficult to interact with, study, and use. There have been surprisingly few human factors performance studies on the relative effectiveness of different graph drawings or network diagram techniques to convey information to a viewer. This is particularly true for weighted networks which include the strength of connections between nodes, not just information about which nodes are linked to other nodes. We describe a human factors study in which participants performed four separate network analysis tasks (finding a direct link between given nodes, finding an interconnected node between given nodes, estimating link strengths, and estimating the most densely interconnected nodes) on two different network visualizations: an adjacency matrix with a heat-map versus a node-link diagram. The results should help shed light on effective methods of visualizing network data for some representative analysis tasks, with the ultimate goal of improving usability and performance for viewers of network data displays.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 May 2012
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 8389, Ground/Air Multisensor Interoperability, Integration, and Networking for Persistent ISR III, 83891G (24 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.920012
Show Author Affiliations
John P. McIntire, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
O. Isaac Osesina, Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock (United States)
Cecilia Bartley, Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock (United States)
M. Eduard Tudoreanu, Univ. of Arkansas at Little Rock (United States)
Paul R. Havig, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Eric E. Geiselman, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8389:
Ground/Air Multisensor Interoperability, Integration, and Networking for Persistent ISR III
Tien Pham, Editor(s)

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