PhD Proposal -- Donghao Ren

Monday, December 4, 2017 - 8:00am
HFH 1132
Visualization Authoring for Data-driven Storytelling
Donghao Ren
Tobias Hollerer (Chair), Matthew Turk, George Legrady, Bongshin Lee

Data visualization helps human beings gain insights into data and communicate their findings. However, most current visualization creation tools either only support fixed sets of designs or require an in-depth understanding of programming concepts. To enable general audiences to create custom visualizations for data-driven storytelling, we design interactions and implement user interfaces for visualization authoring. In the first part of the dissertation, we introduce and evaluate a series of three visualization authoring tools using traditional user interfaces: (1) iVisDesigner, which uses a data-flow model and enables users to author visualizations by specifying mappings from data to graphics interactively. (2) ChartAccent, a tool for annotating a given visualization; and (3) Charticulator, which allows users to design custom layouts interactively. In the second part, we extend our approach to multiple presentation media or display environments, including traditional 2-dimensional screens, large projection-based virtual-reality (VR) systems, and head-mounted virtual/augmented reality displays (HMDs). To leverage such immersive visualization environments, we ported and extended the iVisDesigner authoring approach to projection-based virtual reality. To facilitate the development of immersive visualizations, we built a visualization library called Stardust, which provides a familiar API to utilize GPU processing power in a cross-platform way. Using Stardust and incorporating ideas from iVisDesigner and Charticulator, we present a novel system for authoring data-driven stories in virtual and augmented reality.

Everyone welcome!