Evaluating the Impact of Clutter in Linear Diagrams

Mohanad Alqadah, Gem Stapleton, John Howse, Peter Chapman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


Linear diagrams are an effective way of visualizing sets and their relationships. Sets are visualized by a collection of straight line segments and the ways in which the lines overlap indicate subset and disjointness relationships. As with many visualization methods, linear diagrams can become cluttered. In previous research, we established a clutter measure for linear diagrams that was empirically shown to cor- relate with perceived clutter. The aim of this paper is to determine the impact of linear diagram clutter on user task performance. An empirical study was conducted with three levels of clutter. Surprisingly, we found that diagrams with a medium level of clutter had signi cantly slower task performance than low and high cluttered diagrams. Moreover, we found no signi cant performance difference between the low and high clutter. We concluded that clutter affects the interpretation of linear diagrams. A future research goal is to establish methods for controlling the level of clutter in linear diagrams, such as using multiple diagrams instead of a single diagram, when visualizing sets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Workshop on Set Visualization and Reasoning 2016
Place of PublicationPhiladelphia
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2016
EventInternational Workshop on Set Visualization and Reasoning 2016 - Philadelphia, 7 August, 2016
Duration: 6 Aug 2016 → …

Publication series

NameCEUR Workshop Proceedings


ConferenceInternational Workshop on Set Visualization and Reasoning 2016
Period6/08/16 → …


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