Evaluating graphical manipulations in automatically laid out LineSets

Dominique Tranquille, Gem Stapleton, Jim Burton, Peter Rodgers

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This paper presents an empirical study to determine whether alterations to graphical features (colour and size) of automatically generated LineSets improve task performance. LineSets are used to visualise sets and networks. The increasingly common nature of such data suggests that having effective visualisations is important. Unlike many approaches to set and network visualisation, which often use concave or convex shapes to represent sets alongside graphs, LineSets use lines overlaid on a graph. LineSets have been shown to be advantageous over shape-based approaches. However, the graphical properties of LineSets have not been fully explored. Our results suggest that automatically drawn LineSets can be significantly improved for certain tasks through the considered use of colour alongside size variations applied to their graphical elements. In particular, we show that perceptually distinguishable colours, lines of varying width, and nodes of varying diameter lead to improved task performance in automatically laid-out LineSets.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-24
    Number of pages24
    JournalBehaviour & Information Technology
    Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2019

    Bibliographical note

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Behaviour & Information Technology on 26/11/2019, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/0144929X.2019.1690578


    • Set visualisation
    • LineSets
    • graphical properties


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