task: a set of literature

So these are my 5 chosen papers for the survey of genealogical visualization. Here, I gathered information, so I can estimate their quality from “outside” – so without concerning the content; as well as a few sentences about their contribution.

In the process of choosing literature, I focused on different techniques and different applications – so not just human family relations. In addition, now there are only two-dimensional representations and a focus on representing many individuals – unlike for instance family psychology, that just treats a few individuals.

Burlacu, B.; Affenzeller, M.; Kommenda, M.; Winkler, S. & Kronberger, G.
Visualization of genetic lineages and inheritance information in genetic programming
Proceedings of the 15th annual conference companion on Genetic and evolutionary computation, 2013, 1351-1358



This paper was published as a conference/journal paper. On this conference a professor from FIN took part too. The paper’s authors work in the same group, which owns a representation on the internet.


Burlacu et al. suggest the visualization of genealogies in evolutionary algorithms for the investigation of evolution related phenomena. They present for the investigation of changes in quality and genetic diversity over time a generation layered node-link diagram, which maps the individual’s quality to the colour of the node. Therefore they show an application of the survey’s topic in an area, which is different from human family genealogy.

Bezerianos, A.; Dragicevic, P.; Fekete, J.-D.; Bae, J. & Watson, B.
Geneaquilts: A system for exploring large genealogies
Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on, IEEE, 2010, 16, 1073-1081



This paper was published as a journal paper. There is a website for this paper, that contains source code and additional material. Authors are cited 600 to 6.000 times.


Bezerianos et al. suggest a new matrix visualization technique for large family genealogies and give a set of user tasks for genealogical data.

McGuffin, M. J. & Balakrishnan, R.
Interactive visualization of genealogical graphs
Information Visualization, 2005. INFOVIS 2005. IEEE Symposium on, 2005, 16-23



Author is cited about 1.600 times. His website is accessible and shows his work. The paper was published as conference paper.


McGuffin and Balakrishnan present reasons that make it difficult to draw a genealogical graph in a node-link manner. In addition they present novel graph representations based on their insights. To conclude, they present problems that may occur when using a node-link representation.

Kim, N. W.; Card, S. K. & Heer, J.
Tracing genealogical data with timenets
Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces, 2010, 241-248



It is a conference paper. There are only 50 citations of this authors work on google scholar. This article from 2010 is his first article. On the other hand, there are 35 thousand citations for his first co-author and 8.5 thousand citations of his second co-author.


Kim et al. present an approach for showing genealogical relations in a temporal context. They use lines for the depiction of the life of individuals and their proximity for expression of marriage concerning proximity.

Rohrdantz, C.; Hund, M.; Mayer, T.; Wälchli, B. & Keim, D. A.
The World’s Languages Explorer: Visual Analysis of Language Features in Genealogical and Areal Contexts
Computer Graphics Forum, 2012, 31, 935-944



It is a conference/journal paper. Preim and Theisel -professors of OvGU FIN- have written articles for this journal. Authors’ internet representation is accessible. Rohrdantz has been cited 500 times since 2009.


Rohrdantz et al. present a visualization based on a decomposition of a disc into ring segments for a genealogical hierarchy. They apply this technique to a hierarchy of the human languages.

Recap session 4 – “Research, references, and citation”

After having a sneak peek into the brand new student project page we started the session with the following writing prompt:

A man jumps off the roof of a 40-story building. As he passes the 28th floor he hears his mobile ringing in his pocket. He regrets having jumped. Why?

Thanks for  sharing  your stories in class. It is always exciting how different your stories are for the same writing prompt.

Today’s topic was “Research, references, and citation”. We discussed Chapter 3 from Zobel’s “Writing for Computer Science” and made a  ranked list of reference-worthy publication types. We also talked about how to judge the quality and trustworthiness of a paper. In the exercise, we had a look in one rather negative example of a paper, which was not reference-worthy at all.

I prepared some slides (in German) regarding references and quotes. I didn’t show those in session as we didn’t really need them, but here they are anyway, for reference.

As someone asked for tools for managing literature after class, my recommendation is Mendeley. I use this tool heavily for my day-to-day work. It comes as a browser-based client, but there are also desktop apps for the major OS (Win, Linux, OSX).

I held a workshop for the “Lange Nacht der aufgeschobenen Hausarbeiten” back in March this year where I talked about tools for scientific writing. My slides for that workshop are not really useful as standalone material, but maybe the list of tools might help you. If you have any questions or recommendations for tools, please leave a comment below.

Homework for the next session (May 12 2016)

  1. Read the introduction of Tim Skern’s “Writing Scientific English” (pages 13-33). We will discuss this chapter in the next session.
  2. Find at least 5 important literature references for your student project topic. Write down the full bibliographical record of the reference and argue why you picked it. Keep in mind the quality criteria we discussed in this session.
  3. Prepare a 5-minute whiteboard talk for your student project topic. Try to introduce your topic to someone who has no knowledge about it. This talk should be relaxed and informal – just like you would do if you would explain your topic to a friend. You can use the whiteboard to sketch something. Your tutor will send around a doodle to find a time for a meeting to have this talk. So you will be in a session with your tutor and 5 other students and you will explain your topics to each other. The audience should ask questions if there are things that remain unclear. This exercise should help you jumpstart your project and help you understand the important aspects.