Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Dr. Richard H. Fowler

Second Advisor

Dr. Wendy A. Lawrence-Fowler

Third Advisor

Dr. Pearl Brazier


Visualizing information focuses on the display of data in order to provide the user a representation that provides understanding of the data. Information visualization systems typically couple interaction mechanisms for providing overviews of the data with more detailed information through a zooming interface. This thesis compares three different techniques for displaying graphs provided by the prefuse visualization system: force-directed node positioning, radial node positioning, and a tree view of graphs. Using a large, real world data set from the South Texas College’s Distance Education department, the three visualization techniques are compared for a set of tasks that users routinely need to perform using standard data access techniques. Though the tree view visualization is the most limited in generality of the three techniques, it is found to best provide support for the tasks, in part because of its ability to provide the abstractions that best match the tasks.


Copyright 2012 Ana Rocio Peña. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American