Meaningful Interaction Logging in Visual Analytics

Theoretical (Analytical):

Practical (Implementation):

Literature Work:


In Visual Analytics, the analysis process can consist of multiple views generated by versatile interactions with the system. The logging of user interactions aims to preserve traceability of the analysis process, e.g. by providing a graphical history. Moreover, the interaction logs can be used for various analysis to improve or evaluate a system or to analyze user behavior to find interaction patterns or to model the users’ sense-making process.

Problem Statement

Usually interaction logging components are realized within the scope of the system and depend on the users’ tasks and offered interaction possibilities. Furthermore, many systems do not provide any interaction logging functionality at all. Until now, there is no general framework that realizes a universal way of state of the art semantically meaningful interaction logging for Visual Analytics. These facts result in different standards regarding the tracking of interactions and other related tasks (e.g. the visualization of a graphical history or the analysis of user behavior). The user is therefore limited to the functionality the system provides. The analysis of user behavior across different systems becomes very challenging or even impossible. Moreover, systems performing similar tasks may not be comparable in a quantifiable way regarding usability.


  • Identify the current state of the art regarding interaction logging as well as challenges and yet unsolved problems
  • Prototypical implementation of a system for the universal logging of meaningful user interactions
  • If enough time is left: Design of a meaningful visualization for representing Visual Analytics processes regarding user interactions


  • Basic knowledge about information visualization
  • Good programming skills in Java


  • Scope: Bachelor/Master



Heer, Jeffrey, et al. "Graphical histories for visualization: Supporting analysis, communication, and evaluation." IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics 14.6 (2008).