The leading conference on designing and evaluating tools for visual analytics has just gone live with its website: Visual Analytics Science & Technology 2010, which forms part of the huge VisWeek set of co-located conferences (Oct. 24-29, Salt Lake City). VAST includes a challenge which enables different teams to compete, making more systematic comparison possible.
Of notable importance – from this corner of the planet – is their call for submissions on:
Discourse visualization and visual representations of the reasoning process
This is a new element of the conference that I’m delighted to see them taking onboard, recognising the significant growth in visualizing different forms of discourse, such as dialogue around wicked problems, deliberation over design options, and argumentation over truth/plausibility. Arguably, these are amongst the most complex, highest order forms of human reasoning, and require rather different computation and human interaction to rendering huge, structured datasets.
I encourage everyone working in this field to consider submitting. From the CfP, here’s how the conference frames the challenge:
Visual Analytics is the science of analytical reasoning supported by highly interactive visual interfaces. People use visual analytics tools and techniques in all aspects of science, engineering, business, and government to synthesize information into knowledge; derive insight from massive, dynamic, and often conflicting data; detect the expected and discover the unexpected; provide timely, defensible, and understandable assessments; and communicate assessments effectively for action. The issues stimulating this body of research provide a grand challenge in science: turning information overload into the opportunity of the decade. Visual analytics requires interdisciplinary science, going beyond traditional scientific and information visualization to include statistics, mathematics, knowledge representation, management and discovery technologies, cognitive and perceptual sciences, decision sciences, and more. Your submission should help develop and/or apply Visual Analytics, clearly showing an interdisciplinary approach.