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Week 15: The Flavor Connection
12-07-2014, 04:18 PM
Post: #11
RE: Week 15: The Flavor Connection
Plenty of good points have already been raised: it seems like most agree with the original assessment that the visualization is appealing from an aesthetic standpoint but ultimately there are not many clear tasks that could be accomplished for any particular audience. A user that is part of the general public will most likely be overwhelmed whereas an analyst wouldn't be able to derive meaningful information due to the fact that the values of interest are encoded with less salient channels (e.g. thickness of a line for number of relationships).

Regardless, I think the interactivity of this visualization was particularly well done. I like how selecting a particular row filtered out most of the relationships while still maintaining context by having a greyed out point for the unrelated food items. Additionally, selecting a row populated the axis on the right with the frequency the items on that row appeared in the underlying database, so once could at the very least determine how often a food is used in recipes in comparison to how many flavors it shares with other foods. I think if the designer went just a little further with the interactive elements (e.g. a box for search queries to find a particular food or group of foods), the visualization would be more usable.

I noticed that there is a link to the original study in the "Help" dialog box, which included some additional figures that encode similar information as well as zip files containing the data they used. I'm definitely going to spend some time exploring it once I've escaped finals week and finally have some time for leisure!
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12-07-2014, 06:24 PM
Post: #12
RE: Week 15: The Flavor Connection
This visualization is very cool but not so effective in my view. The very good aspect is: the filtering function works cool. When we select one specific node, the connection lines are very clear. But the global view is not good. Too many nodes and lines overlap each other that make the whole image mess. In my understanding ,when we use node link, one thing is very easy for us to select a specific content, in the other hand, it could give people a simple outline, hierarchy or ordering using big or small node. But it's difficult for us to distinguish these nodes in this visualization. Furthermore, it's not easy to use. Although it's simple to select or filter, we should make some effort to understanding what's the meaning of each encoding channel and how to use them.
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12-12-2014, 05:39 PM
Post: #13
RE: Week 15: The Flavor Connection
This visualization is trying to show a lot of information. It is interesting to see how different food items from different categories are related by a flavor connection. The graph is a bit cluttered with information but the good thing is we can interactively select a food item based on the frequency with which it appears in global recipe database this clears the graph a bit.
The website provides a lengthy legend (an entire page of instructions) on how to read the graph, I guess this defeats the purpose of visualization. Secondly, I dont think that using size to encode popularity and thickness to encode how strong a relationship is a very good idea for a graph which is heavily cluttered with information. The bottom part of the graph has a lot of overlapped information and is very difficult to understand.
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