Visual analytics is a field of study which imparts knowledge through visual representations. The use of these visual representations provide a common method for analysts to sift through vast amounts of information and make informed decisions on critical matters. However, assisting the analyst in making connections with visual tools can be challenging if the information is not presented in an intuitive manner. This study aims to build upon our previous work and further investigate whether line thickness can be used as a valid visualization tool to improve situational awareness. In this paper, we follow-up on previous work to discuss research results exploring the impact that information complexity, measured as graph density, has on situational awareness. Our results indicate an increase in situational awareness, compared to non-enhanced visualizations for select graph densities. Furthermore, the results obtained in this study validate previous pilot study findings. The enhancement identified and validated with this research confirms that the line thickness visual cue represents a perceived information value tied to situational awareness. We conclude that this improved situational awareness and time savings occur from the decreased mental burden placed on the analyst.
Mark Mittrick, John Richardson, Derrik E. Asher, Alex James, and Timothy Hanratty, "A visualization technique to improve situational awareness," Proc. SPIE 10653, Next-Generation Analyst VI, 106530L (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 17, 2018; Published: 27 April 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2304280.
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