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Grammars and tools for sketch-driven visualization design (M/W)

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Date Limite Candidature : jeudi 1 juillet 2021

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General information

Reference : UMR9015-THETSA-001
Workplace : ST AUBIN
Date of publication : Thursday, June 10, 2021
Scientific Responsible name : Theophanis Tsandilas
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2021
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly

Description of the thesis topic

Infographics are widely used to summarize complex data, illustrate problems and solutions, and tell stories over data. Our goal in this project is to investigate interactive tools and techniques that can help data journalists, infographic artists, and, by extension, data scientists and everyday people produce creative visualizations for communication purposes, e.g., to inform the public about the evolution of a pandemic and help novices interpret global-warming predictions or reflect on personal data [Lupi and Pocavec, 2018].

The goal of this Ph.D. thesis is to bring infographics design and visualization tools closer together [Cairo, 2012]. We want to address the more ambitious goal of computer-aided design that treats infographic creation as a visual-thinking process [Ware, 2008]. This process starts from sketches and progressively moves to data and generative parametric instructions, which can then re-feed the designer's sketches. We are also interested in how such tools can benefit users with no design expertise in different contexts, such as educators who want to instill data science and visualization knowledge through their own informal infographics, or common people who want to track and visually express their personal data [Lupi and Pocavec, 2018].

Expected results include: (i) a better understanding of how infographic artists iterate on their design sketches, (ii) techniques for semi-automatically extracting the relevant graphical proper-ties of visualization sketches and structuring their constraints, (iii) techniques for reshaping sketch-driven visualizations, and (iv) and interactive tools that allow users to design creative infographics.

A. Bigelow, S. Drucker, D. Fisher, and M. Meyer. Reflections on how designers design with data. ACM AVI, pp. 17–24, 2014.
A. Cairo. The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization, New Riders, Aug 2012.
F. Chevalier, M. Tory, B. Lee, M. Dörk, J. Van Wijk, and J. Hullman. From Analysis to Communication: Supporting the Lifecycle of a Story. N. Henry Riche, C. Hurter, N. Diakopoulos, S. Carpendale (Eds.) Data-Driven Storytelling. A K Peters / CRC Press, 2018.
R. Kosara. Presentation-oriented visualization techniques. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, 36(1):80–85, Jan 2016.
R. Landers and S. Heller. Infographics Designers' Sketchbooks. Adams Media, October. 2014.
G. Lupi. Sketching with data opens the mind's eye. National Geographic, July 2015. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/07/2015704-datapoints-sketching-data/
G. Lupi and S. Posavec. Observe, Collect, Draw!: A Visual Journal Diary, Princeton Architectural Press. Sep. 2018.
T. Tsandilas. StructGraphics: Flexible Visualization Design through Data-Agnostic and Reusable Graphical Struc-tures. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, pp. 315-325, 2020.
H. Xia, N. Henry Riche, F. Chevalier, B. De Araujo, and D. Wigdor. DataInk: Direct and creative data-oriented drawing. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), pp. 223:1–223:13, 2018.
J. E. Zhang, N. Sultanum, A. Bezerianos, and F. Chevalier. DataQuilt: Extracting Visual Elements from Images to Craft Pictorial Visualizations. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), pp. 1-13, 2020.

Work Context

The Ph.D. thesis is fully funded by a collaboration research program between CNRS and the University of Toronto. It will be co-supervised by Theophanis Tsandilas and Fanny Chevalier (U of T). The thesis will primarily take place in France at the Université Paris-Saclay. However, we plan regular visits to Toronto for a total length of nine months, where travel expenses and accommodation will be fully funded.

South of Paris, the Université Paris-Saclay is one of the largest clusters of research in Europe. Its department “Interaction avec l'Humain” gathers six research teams (three of which are joint Inria teams) specialized in HCI, Information Visualization, and Cognitive Psychology.

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