Dr. David J. Pearce

Comparing Graph Layouts for Vertex Selection Tasks

Author(s). Roman Klapaukh, David J. Pearce and Stuart Marshall.

Venue. In Australian Conference on Human Computer Interaction (OzCHI), pages 557--565, 2015. ©ACM Press

Abstract: Different graph layouts can affect a user’s ability to complete both passive understanding and active interaction tasks. While most research exploring the effects of graph layout looks at a user’s ability to accomplish a passive understanding task, this paper’s novel contribution is looking at their ability to complete a selection task. Specifically we compare two graph layout algorithms with respect to their suitability for free-form multi-selection.

The two layout algorithms are drawn from our previous work which established that they have significantly different understandability metric scores. A motivation for this choice was to explore whether graphs with significantly different metric scores will also have significantly different performance for selection tasks. We carried out our comparison by means of a user experiment that followed a within-subjects design, where 74 users were given a PlayStation Move controller to select vertices in 20 pairs of graphs. We found that while there was no difference in the speed of interaction there was a difference in the number of errors users made between the two layout algorithms.