Concepts for a natural user interface allowing to interact with visualizations that are distributed and synchronized across multiple mobile devices.

Abstract — We present VisTiles, a conceptual framework that uses a set of mobile devices to distribute and coordinate visualization views for the exploration of multivariate data. In contrast to desktop-based interfaces for information visualization, mobile devices offer the potential to provide a dynamic and user-defined interface supporting co-located collaborative data exploration with different individual workflows.

As part of our framework, we contribute concepts that enable users to interact with multiple coordinated views (MCV) that are distributed across several mobile devices. The major components of the framework are: (i) dynamic and flexible layouts for multiple coordinated views focusing on the distribution of views and (ii) an interaction concept for smart adaptations and combinations of visualizations utilizing explicit side-by-side arrangements of devices. As a result, users can benefit from the possibility to combine devices and organize them in meaningful spatial layouts.

Furthermore, we present a web-based prototype implementation as a specific instance of our concepts. This implementation provides a practical application case enabling users to explore a multivariate data collection. We also illustrate the design process including feedback from a preliminary user study, which informed the design of both the concepts and the final prototype.

Wide Range of Possible Visualization Adpations Based on Device Combinations

Possible visualization adaptations based on device combinations.

Alignment of visualizations by adapting height and position of a side-by-side arranged visualization
Rearrangement of data items allows to display additional information, such as calculated differences, on an attached device
UI Offloading allows displaying components of the user interface, such as menus, on other attached devices
Filter-by-viewport is used to interactively filter data items that are outside the viewport (offscreen)
Display Extension is a basic tool to expand a visualization across screens of multiple devices
Overview & Detail is supported by indicating size and position of corresponding views
Distributed Visualization
Manage Adaptations by toggling available options from a sidebar menu

Videos, Slides & Prototype Sources

VisTiles: Full Video

Previewing the full video of VisTiles.

Watch the video on YouTube. This video illustrates the concepts and the developed prototype of VisTiles.

VisTiles: Prototype Source Code

The prototype is freely available on GitHub!

VisTiles: 30-seconds Preview Video

Previewing the 30 seconds video of VisTiles.

Watch the video on YouTube. This is a 30-seconds version of the full video.

VisTiles: Conference Talk

Previewing the first slide of the conference talk.

Watch the video on Vimeo. This is a recording of the conference talk given at IEEE Vis 2017 in Phoenix (USA) in the paper session on Techniques.

Presentation Slides

The slides of the talk are also available as a PDF.

Related Publications

Articles and Conference Papers

  • VisTiles: Coordinating and Combining Co-located Mobile Devices for Visual Data Exploration

    VisTiles: Coordinating and Combining Co-located Mobile Devices for Visual Data Exploration

    Langner, R.; Horak, T.; Dachselt, R.;

    In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (Volume 24, Issue 1).InfoVis '17, Phoenix, Arizona USA.IEEE,626-636,2018.10.1109/TVCG.2017.2744019 Online publication date: 29 August 2017

    @article{Langner:2018aa,
       author = {Ricardo Langner and Tom Horak and Raimund Dachselt},
       title = {VisTiles: Coordinating and Combining Co-located Mobile Devices for Visual Data Exploration},
       journal = {IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics},
       volume = {24},
       issue = {1},
       year = {2018},
       month = {1},
       location = {Phoenix, Arizona USA},
       pages = {626--636},
       numpages = {11},
       doi = {10.1109/TVCG.2017.2744019},
       url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TVCG.2017.2744019},
       publisher = {IEEE},
       keywords = {collaboration, data visualization, mobile communication, prototypes, smart phones, visualization, mobile devices, coordinated \& multiple views, cross-device interaction, multi-display environment}
    }

    List of additional material

    Slides, Video


Posters, Demonstrations, and Workshop Papers

  • Demonstrating VisTiles: Visual Data Exploration Using Mobile Devices

    Demonstrating VisTiles: Visual Data Exploration Using Mobile Devices

    Langner, R.; Horak, T.; Dachselt, R.;

    In Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces.AVI '18, Castiglione della Pescaia, Grosseto, Italy.ACM,69:1-69:3,2018.10.1145/3206505.3206583

    @inproceedings{fixme,
       author = {Ricardo Langner and Tom Horak and Raimund Dachselt},
       title = {Demonstrating VisTiles: Visual Data Exploration Using Mobile Devices},
       booktitle = {Proceedings of the 2018 International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces},
       series = {AVI '18},
       year = {2018},
       month = {5},
       isbn = {978-1-4503-5616-9},
       location = {Castiglione della Pescaia, Grosseto, Italy},
       pages = {69:1--69:3},
       numpages = {3},
       doi = {10.1145/3206505.3206583},
       url = {http://doi.org/10.1145/3206505.3206583},
       acmid = {3206583},
       publisher = {ACM},
       address = {New York, NY, USA}
    }

    List of additional material

  • Towards Combining Mobile Devices for Visual Data Exploration

    Towards Combining Mobile Devices for Visual Data Exploration

    Langner, R.; Horak, T.; Dachselt, R.;

    In Poster Program of the 2016 IEEE Conference on Information Visualization (InfoVis).InfoVis '16, Baltimore, MD, USA.2016.

    @inproceedings{fixme,
       author = {Ricardo Langner and Tom Horak and Raimund Dachselt},
       title = {Towards Combining Mobile Devices for Visual Data Exploration},
       booktitle = {Poster Program of the 2016 IEEE Conference on Information Visualization (InfoVis)},
       year = {2016},
       month = {10},
       location = {Baltimore, MD, USA},
       numpages = {2}
    }

    List of additional material

    Video Poster

  • Information Visualizations with Mobile Devices: Three Promising Aspects

    Information Visualizations with Mobile Devices: Three Promising Aspects

    Langner, R.; Horak, T.; Dachselt, R.;

    In Proceedings of the Workshop on Data Exploration for Interactive Surfaces (DEXIS 2015).ITS '15, Funchal/Madeira, Portugal.20-23,2015.

    @inproceedings{fixme,
       author = {Ricardo Langner and Tom Horak and Raimund Dachselt},
       title = {Information Visualizations with Mobile Devices: Three Promising Aspects},
       booktitle = {Proceedings of the Workshop on Data Exploration for Interactive Surfaces (DEXIS 2015)},
       year = {2015},
       month = {11},
       location = {Funchal/Madeira, Portugal},
       pages = {20--23},
       numpages = {4},
       keywords = {Information visualization; Mobile devices; Multi-touch interaction; Spatial input; Spatial arrangement}
    }

    List of additional material

Related Student Theses

  • Tamara Flemisch

    Effects of Different Display Form Factors on InfoVis Applications

    Tamara Flemisch September 18th, 2017 until April 17th, 2018

    Supervision: Ricardo Langner, Raimund Dachselt

  • Tom Horak

    Combination of Mobile Devices: Novel Concepts for Interactive Information Visualizations

    Tom Horak June 5th, 2015 until November 13th, 2015

    Supervision: Raimund Dachselt, Ricardo Langner

  • Nils Henning

    Integration of the Visualization Techniques Parallel Coordinate Plots and Stream Graphs into VisTiles

    Nils Henning January 4th, 2017 until March 22nd, 2017

    Supervision: Ricardo Langner, Raimund Dachselt