Persistent Homology Guided Force-Directed Graph Layouts

Graphs are commonly used to encode relationships among entities, yet their abstractness makes them difficult to analyze. Node-link diagrams are popular for drawing graphs, and force-directed layouts provide a flexible method for node arrangements that use local relationships in an attempt to reveal the global shape of the graph. However, clutter and overlap of unrelated structures can lead to confusing graph visualizations. This paper leverages the persistent homology features of an undirected graph as derived information for interactive manipulation of force-directed layouts. We first discuss how to efficiently extract 0-dimensional persistent homology features from both weighted and unweighted undirected graphs. We then introduce the interactive persistence barcode used to manipulate the force-directed graph layout. In particular, the user adds and removes contracting and repulsing forces generated by the persistent homology features, eventually selecting the set of persistent homology features that most improve the layout. Finally, we demonstrate the utility of our approach across a variety of synthetic and real datasets.

Persistent Homology Guided Force-Directed Graph Layouts
A. Suh, M Hajij, B. Wang, C. Scheidegger, P. Rosen
Transaction on Visualization and Computer Graphics (InfoVis)

You Can’t Publish Replication Studies (and How to Anyways)

Reproducibility has been increasingly encouraged by communities of science in order to validate experimental conclusions, and replication studies represent a significant opportunity to vision scientists wishing contribute new perceptual models, methods, or insights to the visualization community. Unfortunately, the notion of replication of previous studies does not lend itself to how we communicate research findings. Simple put, studies that re-conduct and confirm earlier results do not hold any novelty, a key element to the modern research publication system. Nevertheless, savvy researchers have discovered ways to produce replication studies by embedding them into other sufficiently novel studies. In this position paper, we define three methods–re-evaluation, expansion, and specialization–for embedding a replication study into a novel published work. Within this context, we provide a non-exhaustive case study on replications of Cleveland and McGill’s seminal work on graphical perception. As it turns out, numerous replication studies have been carried out based on that work, which have both confirmed prior findings and shined new light on our understanding of human perception. Finally, we discuss how publishing a true replication study should be avoided, while providing suggestions for how vision scientists and others can still use replication studies as a vehicle to producing visualization research publications.

You Can’t Publish Replication Studies (and How to Anyways)
G. Quadri, P. Rosen
VIS x Vision Workshop at IEEE VIS

Propagate and Pair: A Single-Pass Approach to Critical Point Pairing in Reeb Graphs

With the popularization of Topological Data Analysis, the Reeb graph has found new applications as a summarization technique in the analysis and visualization of large and complex data, whose usefulness extends beyond just the graph itself. Pairing critical points enables forming topological fingerprints, known as persistence diagrams, that provides insights into the structure and noise in data. Although the body of work addressing the efficient calculation of Reeb graphs is large, the literature on pairing is limited. In this paper, we discuss two algorithmic approaches for pairing critical points in Reeb graphs, first a multipass approach, followed by a new single-pass algorithm, called Propagate and Pair.

Propagate and Pair: A Single-Pass Approach to Critical Point Pairing in Reeb Graphs
J. Tu, M. Hajij, P. Rosen
International Symposium on Visual Computing

Topologically-Guided Color Image Enhancement

Enhancement is an important step in post-processing digital images for personal use, in medical imaging, and for object recognition. Most existing manual techniques rely on region selection, similarity, and/or thresholding for editing, never really considering the topological structure of the image. In this paper, we leverage the contour tree to extract a hierarchical representation of the topology of an image. We propose 4 topology-aware transfer functions for editing features of the image using local topological properties, instead of global image properties. Finally, we evaluate our approach with grayscale and color images.

Topologically-Guided Color Image Enhancement
J. Tu, P. Rosen
International Symposium on Visual Computing