SolarView: Low Distortion Radial Embeddings with a Focus
by: Thom Castermans, Kevin Verbeek, Bettina Speckmann, Michel A. Westenberg, Rob Koopman, Shenghui Wang, Hein van den Berg, and Arianna Betti
The authors propose a novel type of low distortion radial embedding which focuses on one specific entity and its closest neighbors. Their embedding preserves near-exact distances to the focus entity and aims to minimize distortion between the other entities. In the paper, they present an interactive exploration tool, SolarView, which places the focus entity at the center of a "solar system" and embeds its neighbors guided by concentric circles.
SolarView provides an implementation of novel embedding and several state-of-the-art dimensionality reduction and embedding techniques, which the authors adapted to their setting in various ways. They experimentally evaluated the embedding and compared it to these state-of-the-art techniques. The results show that their embedding competes with these techniques and achieves low distortion in practice. Their method performs particularly well when the visualization, and hence the embedding, adheres to the solar system design principle of their application. Nonetheless, as with all dimensionality reduction techniques, the distortion may be high. The authors leverage interaction techniques to give clear visual cues that allow users to accurately judge distortion, and they illustrate the use of SolarView by exploring the high-dimensional metric space of bibliographic entity similarities.
Suggested citation:Castermans, Thom, Kevin Verbeek, Bettina Speckmann, Michel A. Westenberg, Rob Koopman, Shenghui Wang, Hein van den Berg, and Arianna Betti. 2018. “SolarView: Low Distortion Radial Embeddings with a Focus.” In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. doi:10.1109/TVCG.2018.2865361