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The role of visual analogy in information visualisation

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posted on 20.11.2018, 14:28 by Jason Williams
This thesis is inspired by the growing domain of information visualisation, and the potentially open-ended choice of visual representations which can be used to represent any given abstract concept. Such a potentially unlimited choice means that the question of choosing an appropriate visual form is not insubstantial. This thesis therefore attempts to explore how to usefully inform such a choice through the concept of visual analogy. To this end a series of multidimensional icons are developed which differ in terms of level of analogy for a given concept. The practical studies outlined then set out first to confirm this difference in practical terms and then explore the implications of using different levels of explicit visual analogy in tasks appropriate to the use of multidimensional icons. The results reveal that a continuum of 'degree' of analogy can be practically established which increasingly constrains the interpretation users assign to representations as the level of analogy increases. [Continues.]


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).



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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.



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