Final submissions due: 1 September 2017
Publication date: May/June 2018
Contemporary visualization research is often motivated by the need to make sense of the ever-increasing amounts of raw data from a wide variety of application domains, ranging from everyday sales transactions to potentially Nobel-Price-winning particle physics. Consequently, work at the interface between visualization research and specific application domains is highly interdisciplinary and focused on delivering value to end users. At the same time, while this work regularly takes contributions from basic visualization research beyond a lab setting, making them available in real-world scenarios, application-driven work often infuses new challenges into the visualization research field at large.
For this special issue, we are soliciting papers that bridge the gap between specific application areas and visualization research. Broadly speaking, successful papers will describe working visualization solutions that answer these questions:
What is the solution’s practical impact from the perspective of a real-world application?
What lessons did you learn from a visualization perspective while creating that solution?
More specifically, we are looking for contributions that demonstrate practical impact in a variety of ways:
User involvement: The goal of a practical visualization solution should be to address a specific visualization and/or problem posed by a prospective user group, oftentimes experts from other domains. Interaction with users is tricky; they frame their analysis problem in their own terms, which are often nontrivial for visualization experts to understand, and they may find it hard to gauge how their work can benefit from state-of-the-art visualization methods. This leads to interesting questions: How do we involve users throughout the development? How can we understand their problem domains? How do we communicate the added value of modern visualization approaches? Can we identify best practices that transcend specific applications?
Application-driven design: Generally, no uniquely defined, “correct” approach exists for any given visualization problem. Developing a working solution requires identifying viable options, weighing them, and eventually selecting a small subset. To this end, authors might answer these questions: What process did you follow to design your solution? Did you use specific visualization methodologies or visualization-theoretic models? What design decisions did you face? What options did you consider? How did you make a selection? How did your solution improve the existing situation?
Systems aspects: Oftentimes, solutions will be a large system rather than a one-method, fire-and-forget approach. Such systems generally require a lot of infrastructure building, a major development effort in its own right. How can we manage this extra effort? How can we make solutions sustainable? Should we consider an open, community-based development approach?
Knowledge transfer: Practical visualization solutions will by definition live on the interface between visualization research and a specific application domain. Their development will be driven by an exchange of knowledge across this interface. What does it take to transfer an existing visualization method from a lab setting to a specific application problem? What pitfalls might we encounter? How can we overcome them? What parts of the problem remain challenging? Are there open problems that warrant more attention by the visualization research community?
Although we do not expect individual submissions to cover all of these aspects, successful papers will feature a strong take-home message for a visualization-centric audience. We ask authors to contribute something beyond a “user manual” for a solution targeting a narrow application use case.