Radial Sets - Visualizing Large Overlapping Sets


NEWS: Check our recent survey on set visualization here!

NEWS: New features and views in the interactive web demo (thanks to Eng. Hansjörg Hofer).

NEWS: An evaluation study of Radial Sets was conducted by Eng. Molham Rajjo in his MSc. thesis.




The most natural way to depict overlapping sets is to use an Euler Diagram (figure 1a). But these diagrams are severely limited in the number of sets they can depict (usually 3 or 4) and cannot always accommodate more sets especially if these sets exhibit numerous overlaps.
Radial Sets use an alternative visual metaphor to represent overlapping sets (Figure 1b).


An Euler Diagarm vs. Radial Sets

Figure 1: (a) An Euler Diagram (adapted from Whatt), (b) the equivalent representation in Radial Sets: the histograms in gray show a breakdown of the elements in each set by their degrees; the arcs show overlaps between pairs of sets.



The following 5-minute video illustrates the visual metaphor of Radial Sets, and how it can accommodate 10, 20 or even 30 sets, and reveal several overlapping patterns between these sets. It also highlights some of the supported interactions that allow selecting certain elements based on their set memberships.



Radial Sets depicting IMDb movies produced in two or more countries (including former countries). An arc between two countries represents the overlap between their movies. Its thickness and color respectively encode the normalized size and the disproportionality of this overlap. The different scales of the histograms are indicated as thin rectangles representing the same number of elements
Radial Sets depicting IMDb movies according to their genres. The bubbles encode the overlaps of degrees 2, 3, and 4 between the genres and are scaled to fit in the inner area. The area of a bubble encodes the normalized size of the overlap. The color represents the median release date for the movies aggregated both in the bubbles and in the histograms. The sets involved in an overlap can be inferred by hovering over the respective bubble (a, b).
Radial Sets view showing n > 50,000 papers multi-classified into 11 ACM classes. Hyperedges of degree 3 are depicted to indicate overlaps between triples of sets. The color indicates the median publication date of the papers aggregated in each bar.
The interactive exploration environment of Radial Sets encompassing multiple coordinated views. Two bar charts show the sets by the their sizes and the elements by their degrees. The Radial Sets view shows n > 50;000 papers multi-classified into 11 ACM classes. Selected papers are marked in red and are listed in details in the list view. An additional tabular view shows details about the overlaps classified by degree into different lists.



  • To be continued...


Article and Slides

Bilal Alsallakh, Wolfgang Aigner, Silvia Miksch, and Helwig Hauser, "Radial Sets: Interactive Visual Analysis of Large Overlapping Sets", IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics (Proceedings of InfoVis), 19(12):2496-2505, 2013. application/pdf iconpaper
Here you can download the slides of the talk (in Powerpoint 2007+ format).


If you have questions or comments or want to visualize your data with Radial Sets, you can gladly reach me through my gmail id: "bilalsal"