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An Information - Theoretic View of Visualization *** CANCELED ****

Event Date: April 19, 2010
Speaker: Min Chen
Speaker Affiliation: Swansea University
Sponsor: Prospective HCC Faculty Candidate
Time: 10:00 AM
Location: EE 118
Contact Name: Host: Dr David Ebert
Contact Phone: (765) 494-9064
Contact Email:

As a subject, visualization is facing a number of serious challenges. For example, on one hand, we have continuous deluge of data, and on the other hand, we seem to have a difficulty to increase the amount of information that can be visualized on our screen. Whilst data filtering, abstraction and feature extraction can provide a solution in many cases, these techniques also result in information loss as well as introduce noise. We still
cannot build a practically-usable model of the human perception and cognition process, hence the evaluation of visualization relies mainly on user studies, which are costly and often difficult to generalize.

In this talk, the speaker will examine whether information theory can be one of the theoretic frameworks for visualization, whether it can help us understand these challenges from a theoretic perspective, and whether it can confirm or suggest the correct strategy to tackle the problem of data deluge. The speaker will illustrate the use of information-theoretic concepts and measures for quantifying visual information, and show examples that manifest the intrinsic and implicit use of information theory in several existing visualization techniques. In particular, the speaker will discuss the potential role of information theory in his personal research areas, including video visualization, quality metrics and knowledge-assisted visualization.

Min Chen received his BSc degree in computer science from Fudan University in 1982 and his PhD degree from the University of Wales in 1991. He is currently a full professor in the Department of Computer Science, Swansea University. His main research interests include visualization, computer graphics, and interactive computing. Since 1992, he has led the Visual and Interactive Computing group at Swansea (currently consisting of 6 faculty members), and under his supervision, 22 PhD and 3 MPhil students have successfully completed their research programs. He has also led the Centre of Excellence for Computing and Software Technologies since 2002, and is the co-director of the recently-established Wales Research Institute for Visual Computing. He was the paper co-chair of IEEE Visualization 2007 and 2008, and played a major role in establishing workshops on volume graphics and knowledge assisted visualization. He is a fellow of the British Computer Society and a member of Eurographics, IEEE and ACM SIGGRAPH.