Perception, Cognition, Interaction
VisMaster: a project that has been noticed
On 20 and 21 April 2010, the film presenting the coordination action VisMaster, in which the Aviz project-team is involved, was presented to the European Parliament. This video looks at the fields of application and possibilities offered by Visual Analytics.
What do biology, bank fraud detection and economic intelligence have in common? All of these fields, and many others, face the same problem : understanding masses of dynamic data that classic analysis methods can no longer cope with. These data contain some expected information and some that is less expected, and this information raises further questions. Navigating among these data to understand and analyse them is the aim of visual analytics.
This problem is fundamental at a time when the mass of data to be processed is growing all the time. The new research field of visual analytics could be the answer. Until now, there were two methods for attempting to understand data: applying precise analyses (statistical, numerical, etc.) in order to try and verify whether the data conformed to a known model, or visualising them in order to use our visual perception to find apparent structures (groupings, trends, exceptions, etc.).
Visual analytics goes further: it combines analysis methods with interactive visualisation methods in order to give the user the control and the initiative over the analysis process, based on the results already calculated and visualised. It is essential to be able to dynamically control the analysis parameters in order to interact rapidly, explore unexpected results or clean the data according to complex criteria. Offering these new possibilities brings complex scientific problems, as analysis algorithms must then be adapted to the needs and rhythms of human beings, which then substantially changes their design and implementation.
In order to further this research, the European coordination action VisMaster, part of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Development (FPRD) involving the Aviz project-team, is establishing a road map for research in the field. The presentation of the film to the European Parliament, illustrating and describing the extent of the problems to be solved and the possibilities that this field could offer, shows the dynamism of the project and its capacity to make real progress.
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Jean-Daniel Fekete , Aviz project-team leader