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The State-of-the-Art of Set Visualization

Alsallakh, Bilal, Micallef, Luana, Aigner, Wolfgang, Hauser, Helwig, Miksch, Silvia, Rodgers, Peter (2016) The State-of-the-Art of Set Visualization. Computer Graphics Forum, 35 (1). pp. 234-260. ISSN 1467-8659. (doi:10.1111/cgf.12722) (KAR id:52106)


Sets comprise a generic data model that has been used in a variety of data analysis problems. Such problems involve analysing and visualizing set relations between multiple sets defined over the same collection of elements. However, visualizing sets is a non-trivial problem due to the large number of possible relations between them. We provide a systematic overview of state-of-the-art techniques for visualizing different kinds of set relations. We classify these techniques into six main categories according to the visual representations they use and the tasks they support. We compare the categories to provide guidance for choosing an appropriate technique for a given problem. Finally, we identify challenges in this area that need further research and propose possible directions to address these challenges. Further resources on set visualization are available at

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/cgf.12722
Uncontrolled keywords: information visualization, visualization, H.5.2 [Information Interfaces and Presentation]: User Interfaces—Graphical user interfaces, F.4.1 [Theory of Computation]: Mathematical Logic—Set theory
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Peter Rodgers
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2015 09:00 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 00:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Micallef, Luana.

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Rodgers, Peter.

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