Seminar in Software Engineering: Human/Computer Interaction

339.374 Seminar in Software Engineering: Human/Computer Interaction 2SE Blaschek Time: 10:15-11:45 Room: S3 218 Start: 11.3.2019


Mo, 11.3.2019; 10:15-11:45, S3 218
other dates: see KUSSS


  • Personal presence is required throughout the semester.
  • Please see the sections on "Preparation" and "Organization" below.

Target audience

Students in Computer Science who have already attended the course "Human/Computer Interaction"


In-depth treatment of special topics in HCI.


The subject of the seminar changes from year to year.

In this semester, the focus is on interactive information visualization.
Information Visualization helps to organize and analyze huge amounts of data. The goal is to understand the data and to find interesting facts, which helps to make decisions based on the data. Simple visualizations are static and just display data. Interactive techniques help to find even more information by allowing users to dynamically change aspects and perspectives.
The idea is to let users start with an initial look at the data and then allow them to explore more and more, depending on their previous findings. This would not be possible with purely static representations, but requires interactive techniques that let users decide what they want to see next.

Plain "information visualization" belongs to the area of computer graphics; the focus is on comprehensible representation of the data, typically in some graphical form. In "interactive information visualization", the focus shifts to user interfaces, including the design of possible interactions and manipulations of graphical representations. Challenges are understandability and easy of use, which enables users to concentrate on the data and the results rather than the technical steps needed to retrieve the desired information from the data.

Examples of interaction techniques are:

  • Filtering, focusing on subsets
  • Viewing data from different perspectives
  • Animation of time series and evolutions
  • Drilling down to see certain details
  • Zooming, rotating, moving through 3D data
  • Collapsing, projection and summarizing
  • Statistical analysis with user-specified criteria
  • Combination of multiple representations
  • and many more...

Basic literature

  • Munzner 2014; Visualization Analysis and Design; Taylor & Francis Inc.
  • Fisher and Meyer 2018; Making Data Visual: A Practical Guide to Using Visualization for Insight
  • Ward, Grinstein, Keim 2010; Interactive Data Visualization: Foundations, Techniques, and Applications
  • Ware, Kaufmann 2004; Information Visualization. Perception for Design
  • Spence 2006; Information Visualization: Design for Interaction
  • Aigner et al. 2011; Visualization of Time-Oriented Data
  • Steele, Illinsky 2010; Beautiful Visualization

Online sources

Obviously, also try searching for terms like "Interactive Information Visualization" and "Big Data".

Expected Results

All participants in the seminar will present a visualization technique of their choice. For selecting a preferred topic, they should already be familiar with a few visualization techniques before the seminar starts. It is therefore highly recommended to check out the sources listed above before the kick-off meeting.

Sample Implementation

Participants are expected to implement a typical example of the chosen visualization technique. This should be a prototypical implementation of a visualization to illustrate its usage and benefits, using sample data. To demonstrate the result, participants are also expected to find data that show the benefits of interactive visualization, ideally data from the real world.


The presentation should explain the principle of the visualization and interaction, including a live demo of the sample implementation.
Of course, the presentation should not just copy the findings from other sources. The presenters are encouraged to include personal opinions and explain their own experience with the chosen visualization (e.g., from a user's or developer's perspective).
A presentation should fit in a 30 minute time slot. This means that presentations must be concise and should concentrate on the most important aspects.


In addition to the presentation, participants are also expected to write a summary of their findings. The result should be a 5-10 page document in the typical style of a research paper. It should be written for user interface designers as the target audience. Readers should be enabled to use the described interactive visualization on their own in real-world projects. With this goal in mind, the documentation should also explain how the sample implementation was created.
The documentation must be submitted in PDF form and will be distributed among all participants at the end of the seminar.


In preparation for the kick-off meeting, participants are expected to bring suggestions for visualization techniques they wish to present. To avoid conflicts or overlaps, it is recommended that each participant suggests three or more visualizations.
It is recommended to look for visualizations that are described in multiple sources (which makes it easier to find relevant information and examples). It is also a good idea to select "exotic" visualizations (rather than simple and popular ones), as this decreases the risk of conflicts. It is probably also more interesting to present a topic that is not yet well known by the other participants.


May 6Ghilas BelkaciMircea-Tiberiu LucaciuHeat Map
Alexander HütterLukas MakorDensity Map (Dot Distribution Map)
Robert HolzingerNikola RadicStatistical Analysis of Measurement Data
May 13Christian AnzingerMartin ForstnerMapamundi
Lukas Christoph AndroschGeorg BlumenscheinCladogram
May 20Patrick FritschChristoph GerstbergerRelation-Based Graph
Florian MaderSimon SchusterTree Mapping
Jelena MusulinDaniel StifanicConcept Map