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A Study of Colormaps in Network Visualization

Life Media Interdisciplinary Program, Ajou University, Suwon 16499, Korea
Department of Computer Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Department of Digital Media, Ajou University, Suwon 16499, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(20), 4228;
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 23 September 2019 / Accepted: 3 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
Color is a widely used visual channel for encoding data in visualization design. It is important to select the appropriate type of color mapping to better understand the data. While several studies have investigated the effects of colormaps in various types of information visualization, there have been no studies on their effects on network visualization. Thus, in this paper, we investigate the effects of several colormaps in network visualization using node-link diagrams. Specifically, we compare four different single- and multi-hue colormaps for node attributes, and evaluate their effectiveness in terms of task completion time and correctness rate. Our results show that participants complete their tasks significantly faster with blue (single-hue, sequential) as compared to viridis (multi-hue, sequential), RdYlBu (divergent, red-yellow-blue), and jet (rainbow) colormaps. Additionally, the overall correctness rate shows significant differences between colormaps, with viridis being the least error-prone among the colormaps studied. View Full-Text
Keywords: network visualization; colormap; visual encoding; color perception network visualization; colormap; visual encoding; color perception
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Karim, R.M.; Kwon, O.-H.; Park, C.; Lee, K. A Study of Colormaps in Network Visualization. Appl. Sci. 2019, 9, 4228.

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