Cycle Plot Revisited: Multivariate Outlier Detection Using a Distance-Based Abstraction
The cycle plot is an established and effective visualization technique for identifying and comprehending patterns in periodic time series, like trends and seasonal cycles. It also allows to visually identify and contextualize extreme values and outliers from a different perspective. Unfortunately, it is limited to univariate data. For multivariate time series, patterns that exist across several dimensions are much harder or impossible to explore. We propose a modified cycle plot using a distance-based abstraction (Mahalanobis distance) to reduce multiple dimensions to one overview dimension and retain a representation similar to the original. Utilizing this distance-based cycle plot in an interactive exploration environment, we enhance the Visual Analytics capacity of cycle plots for multivariate outlier detection. To enable interactive exploration and interpretation of outliers, we employ coordinated multiple views that juxtapose a distance-based cycle plot with Cleveland's original cycle plots of the underlying dimensions. With our approach it is possible to judge the outlyingness regarding the seasonal cycle in multivariate periodic time series.
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Computer Graphics Forum
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