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Toward Measuring Visualization Insight
May/June 2006 (vol. 26 no. 3)
pp. 6-9
Chris North, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The purpose of visualization is insight. The purpose of visualization evaluation is to determine whether visualizations are achieving their purpose. If these statements are true, then evaluating visualizations should seek to determine how well visualizations generate insight. But what, exactly, is insight? How can it be measured and evaluated? Do current approaches for evaluating visualizations provide measures of insight? This viewpoint identifies critical characteristics of insight, argues the fundamental reasons why traditional controlled experiments with benchmark tasks on visualizations do not effectively measure insight, and offers a new approach to controlled experiments that can better capture the notion of insight. The ultimate goal is a much richer view of how visualizations can achieve their purpose.

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Index Terms:
visualization evaluation, controlled experiments, benchmark tasks, insight
Citation:
Chris North, "Toward Measuring Visualization Insight," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 26, no. 3, pp. 6-9, May-June 2006, doi:10.1109/MCG.2006.70
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