CS-5630/6630 | Visualization | Fall 2014
Parallel Coordinates Questions / Hints - Printable Version

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Parallel Coordinates Questions / Hints - accidental_PhD - 10-20-2014 08:50 AM

Hi all,
A few pointers for the assignment, based on questions people have emailed (please use the forum for questions like this - you'll get faster answers this way!).

Cars Dataset

Remember from the assignment description that the dataset needs some cleaning before you’ll be able to load it into Processing. This is a great example of messy real world data; it’s part of the assignment to figure out which file(s) you need.

You need to somehow make a .csv before FloatTable.pde will work. You probably shouldn't try to do this part with Processing code - in this case, a text editor should be all you need, though you could do it in Excel, OpenRefine, etc... Hint: if you're confused about which numbers mean what, make sure to look at the data source information, or it might help to run their cars.data file as a shell script instead of downloading the .zip archive. You may even need to consult other sources (e.g. what range of numbers should I expect for horsepower?) if you're still confused. As always, make sure to document what you try, even if it doesn't work the first time!


Some students have asked about slow performance, especially with the interactive parts. We don't expect a perfectly smooth product; while algorithms are relevant, this isn't an algorithms class. Sluggish performance is acceptable, as long as it doesn't make the tool completely unusable.

That said, if you notice delays, make sure to discuss them in your report. This is an important consideration for visualization; algorithms have their own layer in the textbook's Nested Model. How does sluggish interactivity impact the user's experience?

How do you think you could improve performance if you had more time? Don't be afraid to include mathy notation about algorithm complexity if you know how. While we don't require this (there are some non-CS majors in the class), you should use your skills to think about why it's slow if you have them!

RE: Parallel Coordinates Questions / Hints - sheetalg0309 - 10-28-2014 10:38 PM

I have a question regarding interactive color legend.
When you say "allows the user to apply a color to a specific group", do you mean the group of clusters i.e. each cluster group assigned a different color? or Is there anything else I am missing out here?

RE: Parallel Coordinates Questions / Hints - accidental_PhD - 10-29-2014 08:14 AM

Yes, by "group" we mean "cluster".

RE: Parallel Coordinates Questions / Hints - mcarter - 10-29-2014 11:21 PM

Regarding performance, I found the P2D renderer to be MUCH faster than the default renderer in Processing.

Here's the basics on how to use it: