MotionGlyphs: Visual Abstraction of Spatio-Temporal Networks in Collective Animal Behavior

Eren Cakmak, Hanna Schäfer, Juri Buchmüller, J. Fuchs, Tobias Schreck, A. Jordan, Daniel A. Keim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Domain experts for collective animal behavior analyze relationships between single animal movers and groups of animals over time and space to detect emergent group properties. A common way to interpret this type of data is to visualize it as a spatio-temporal network. Collective behavior data sets are often large, and may hence result in dense and highly connected node-link diagrams, resulting in issues of node-overlap and edge clutter. In this design study, in an iterative design process, we developed glyphs as a design for seamlessly encoding relationships and movement characteristics of a single mover or clusters of movers. Based on these glyph designs, we developed a visual exploration prototype, MotionGlyphs, that supports domain experts in interactively filtering, clustering, and animating spatio-temporal networks for collective animal behavior analysis. By means of an expert evaluation, we show how MotionGlyphs supports important tasks and analysis goals of our domain experts, and we give evidence of the usefulness for analyzing spatio-temporal networks of collective animal behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-75
Number of pages13
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

Fields of Expertise

  • Information, Communication & Computing


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