Date of Award

Spring 2020

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Computer Science & Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Type



The main purpose of information visualization is to act as a window between a user and data. Historically, this has been accomplished via a single-agent framework: the only decisionmaker in the relationship between visualization system and analyst is the analyst herself. Yet this framework arose not from first principles, but from necessity: prior to this decade, computers were limited in their decision-making capabilities, especially in the face of large, complex datasets and visualization systems. This thesis aims to present the design and evaluation of a mixed-initiative system that aids the user in handling large, complex datasets and dense visualization systems. We demonstrate this system with a between-groups, two-by-two study measuring the effects of this mixed-initiative system on user interactions and system usability. We find little to no evidence that the adaptive system designed here has a statistically-significant effect on user interactions or system usability. We discuss the implications of this lack of evidence, and examine how the data suggests a promising avenue of further research.


English (en)


Alvitta Ottley

Committee Members

Alvitta Ottley Chien-Ju Ho William Yeoh


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/qhkg-9w35