Visualization for scientific discovery

Oct 1, 2012

Jeffrey Heer on visualization for interactive exploration:

We were visualizing the results of a chain of models, including text modeling and dimensionality reduction. These models can sometimes give rise to misleading results, which we then spotted in the visualization. This result led us to consider how visualizations must do more than just turn data into images — it is vital that visualizations support interactive exploration and verification, so that one can not only uncover new hypotheses but begin the process of assessing their credibility. Another result of this work is that the insights gained from the visualizations enabled us to design better machine learning methods, such that our mathematical models of textual similarity better matched the judgments of human experts.

The rest of the Scientific American article is worth reading, mostly for the other quotes from Heer and Ben Shneiderman.

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