Toward a deeper understanding of the role of interaction in information visualization

Ji Soo Yi, Youn Ah Kang, John T. Stasko, Julie A. Jacko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

720 Citations (Scopus)


Even though interaction is an important part of information visualization (Infovis), it has garnered a relatively low level of attention from the Infovis community. A few frameworks and taxonomies of Infovis interaction techniques exist, but they typically focus on low-level operations and do not address the variety of benefits interaction provides. After conducting an extensive review of Infovis systems and their interactive capabilities, we propose seven general categories of interaction techniques widely used in Infovis: 1) Select, 2) Explore, 3) Reconfigure, 4) Encode, 5) Abstract/Elaborate, 6) Filter, and 7) Connect. These categories are organized around a user's intent while interacting with a system rather than the low-level interaction techniques provided by a system. The categories can act as a framework to help discuss and evaluate interaction techniques and hopefully lay an initial foundation toward a deeper understanding and a science of interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1231
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is supported in part by the National Science Foundation via Award IIS-0414667 and the National Visualization and Analytics Center (NVAC™), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Program, under the auspices of the SouthEast Regional Visualization and Analytics Center. It is also supported in part by GVU Center Seed Grant. The authors also wish to thank Erin Kinzel and Kevin Moloney for their careful review of this document.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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