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Reference: Chen, M and Jänicke, H, (2010). An information-theoretic framework for visualization. IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics, 16 (6), 1206-1215.Citable link to this page:


An information-theoretic framework for visualization.

Abstract: In this paper, we examine whether or not information theory can be one of the theoretic frameworks for visualization. We formulate concepts and measurements for qualifying visual information. We illustrate these concepts with examples that manifest the intrinsic and implicit use of information theory in many existing visualization techniques. We outline the broad correlation between visualization and the major applications of information theory, while pointing out the difference in emphasis and some technical gaps. Our study provides compelling evidence that information theory can explain a significant number of phenomena or events in visualization, while no example has been found which is fundamentally in conflict with information theory. We also notice that the emphasis of some traditional applications of information theory, such as data compression or data communication, may not always suit visualization, as the former typically focuses on the efficient throughput of a communication channel, whilst the latter focuses on the effectiveness in aiding the perceptual and cognitive process for data understanding and knowledge discovery. These findings suggest that further theoretic developments are necessary for adopting and adapting information theory for visualization.

Peer Review status:Peer reviewedPublication status:PublishedVersion:Accepted ManuscriptNotes:Copyright © 2010 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.”

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: IEEE

Publisher Website:

Journal: IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphicssee more from them

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Issue Date: 2010-11


Urn: uuid:dd6a0fba-545a-41aa-9247-55a0bfe129a4

Source identifier: 416360

Eissn: 1941-0506


Issn: 1077-2626 Item Description

Type: Journal article;

Language: eng

Version: Accepted ManuscriptKeywords: Information theory theory of visualization quantitative evaluation Tiny URL: pubs:416360


Autor: Chen, M - institutionUniversity of Oxford Oxford, MPLS, Oxford e-Research Centre - - - Jänicke, H - - - - Bibliographic Details



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