A Grammar-based Approach for Modeling User Interactions and Generating Suggestions During the Data Exploration Process.

IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics

PubMedID: 27514057

Dabek F, Caban JJ. A Grammar-based Approach for Modeling User Interactions and Generating Suggestions During the Data Exploration Process. IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph. 2016;.
Despite the recent popularity of visual analytics focusing on big data, little is known about how to support users that use visualization techniques to explore multi-dimensional datasets and accomplish specific tasks. Our lack of models that can assist end-users during the data exploration process has made it challenging to learn from the user's interactive and analytical process. The ability to model how a user interacts with a specific visualization technique and what difficulties they face are paramount in supporting individuals with discovering new patterns within their complex datasets. This paper introduces the notion of visualization systems understanding and modeling user interactions with the intent of guiding a user through a task thereby enhancing visual data exploration. The challenges faced and the necessary future steps to take are discussed; and to provide a working example, a grammar-based model is presented that can learn from user interactions, determine the common patterns among a number of subjects using a K-Reversible algorithm, build a set of rules, and apply those rules in the form of suggestions to new users with the goal of guiding them along their visual analytic process. A formal evaluation study with 300 subjects was performed showing that our grammar-based model is effective at capturing the interactive process followed by users and that further research in this area has the potential to positively impact how users interact with a visualization system.