Call for Papers Changes

New this year


We solicit papers, posters, and contest entries for InfoVis 2003, the ninth annual IEEE Symposium on Information Visualization. InfoVis is the primary meeting in the field of information visualization, and is held in conjunction with the IEEE Visualization 2003 (Vis03) conference.

Computer-based information visualization, or "infovis", centers around helping people explore or explain data by designing interactive software that exploits the capabilities of the human perceptual system. The central design challenge in infovis is designing a cognitively useful spatial mapping of a dataset that is not inherently spatial. There are many possible visual encodings, only a fraction of which are helpful for a given task. We draw on the intellectual history of several traditions, including computer graphics, human-computer interaction, cognitive psychology, semiotics, graphic design, statistical graphics, cartography, and art. The synthesis of relevant ideas from these fields with new methodologies and techniques made possible by interactive computation are critical for helping people keep pace with the torrents of data confronting them. One of the few resources increasing faster than the speed of computer hardware is the amount of data to be processed.

We encourage submissions of papers (31 Mar 03 deadline), interactive posters (1 Aug 03 deadline), and InfoVis Contest entries (1 Aug 03 deadline). We encourage the use of digital video to support the submission, particularly if part or all of the work covers interactive techniques.

due Mon 31 March 2003 5:00pm PST

We solicit papers in five categories: technique, system, design study, evaluation, and model. Although many papers might include elements of more than one of these categories, for the purposes of reviewing you will be asked to decide which best fits your submission.


Technique papers introduce novel techniques or algorithms that have not previously appeared in the literature. We also welcome papers that significantly extend techniques or algorithms that have been previously presented, for example by scaling to datasets of much larger size than before or by generalizing a technique to a larger class of uses.

The technique or algorithm description provided in the paper should be complete enough that a competent graduate student in visualization could implement the work, and the authors should create a prototype implementation of the methods. Relevant previous work must be referenced, and the advantage of the new methods over it should be clearly demonstrated. There should be a discussion of the tasks and datasets for which this new method is appropriate, and its limitations. Evaluation through informal or formal user studies, or other methods, will often serve to strengthen the paper, but are not mandatory.

Past work that would fall into this category includes: algorithms for layout and navigation of trees, graphs, and networks; interaction techniques for infovis; browsing and navigation techniques in large information spaces; geometric or graphics algorithms for increased scalability of existing techniques; and techniques for visualizing very high dimensional (100+ D) spaces. This list is not exclusive, and we welcome submissions in these and all other areas of infovis.


System papers present a blend of algorithms, technical requirements, user requirements, and design that solves a major problem. The system that is described is both novel and important, and it has been implemented. The rationale for significant design decisions is provided, and the system is compared to documented, best-of-breed systems already in use. The comparison includes specific discussion of how the described system differs from and is, in some significant respects, superior to those systems. For example, the proposal may offer substantial advancements in the performance or usability of infovis systems, or novel capabilities. Every effort should be made to eliminate external factors (such as advances in processor performance, memory sizes or operating system features) that would affect this comparison. For further suggestions, please review "How (and How Not) to Write a Good Systems Paper" by Roy Levin and David Redell at, and "Empirical Methods in CS and AI" by Toby Walsh at

Design Study

Design study papers explore the choices made when applying infovis techniques in an application area, for example relating the visual encodings and interaction techniques to the requirements of the target task. Although a limited amount of application domain background information can be useful to provide a framing context in which to discuss the specifics of the target task, the primary focus of the case study must be the infovis content. Describing new techniques and algorithms developed to solve the target problem will strengthen a design study paper, but the requirements for novelty are less stringent than in a Technique paper. The work will be judged by the design lessons learned, and on which future contributors can build. We invite submissions on any application area. In past years these areas have included bioinformatics, data mining and databases, finance and commerce, telecommunications and networking, information retrieval from large text corpora, and computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW). This year we particularly encourage submissions in the application area of software engineering, a shared focus with our Vis 03 parent conference.


Evaluation papers are an empirical comparative study of infovis techniques or systems. Authors are not necessarily expected to implement the systems used in these studies themselves; the research contribution will be judged on the validity and importance of the experimental results as opposed to the novelty of the systems or techniques under study. The conference committee appreciates the difficulty and importance of designing and performing rigorous experiments, including the definition of appropriate hypotheses, tasks, data sets, selection of subjects, measurement, validation and conclusions. The goal of such efforts should be to move from mere description of experiments, toward prediction and explanation. We do suggest that potential authors who have not had formal training in the design of experiments involving human subjects may wish to partner with a colleague from an area such as psychology or human-computer interaction who has experience with designing rigorous experimental protocols and statistical analysis of the resulting data.


Model papers present new interpretations of the foundational theory of information visualization. Example of past work in this area are taxonomies, extensions to Bertin's theories of visual encoding, analysis of metaphors, perception, cognitive models, visual comparisons and indications of causality. Implementations are usually not relevant for papers in this category. Papers should focus on basic advancement in our understanding of how infovis techniques complement and exploit properties of human vision and cognition.

Papers Review Process

The length of the paper should be commensurate with its contributions, up to a maximum of eight (8) pages. For example, a useful idea presented completely and concisely in four pages is more likely to be accepted than the same idea presented in eight pages. The length limit includes figures, which may be in color because the proceedings will be printed in full color throughout. See the InfoVis 03 Submissions page ( for details on format and electronic submission of papers and optional accompanying digital video.

Papers are peer-reviewed, and this year we are moving to a two-tier reviewing model. The program committee will consist of senior reviewers who will recruit additional external reviewers. Each paper will be read by two senior reviewers on the program committee and two additional external reviewers. Papers may be accepted under the condition that its length is decreased.

All papers submitted to InfoVis03 must be original, unpublished work. Any paper that has been previously published in equivalent or substantially similar form by any other conference or in any other journal will be rejected at an early stage of the review process, as will papers that are simultaneously submitted to InfoVis03 and to any other conference or journal. A paper is considered published if it has appeared in a peer-reviewed journal or in published meeting proceedings that are commercially available afterward to nonattendees. Note that work described in the Interactive Posters or Late-Breaking Hot Topics venues from previous InfoVis symposia is thus not considered formally published, and you are free to submit work based on that core (although it's unlikely to be accepted unless you've made substantial progress since then).

Submissions are treated as confidential communications during the review process, so submission does not constitute public disclosure of any ideas therein. Submissions should contain no information or materials that will be proprietary or confidential at the time of publication (19 October 2003), and should cite no publications that are proprietary or confidential at the time of publication.

due Fri 1 Aug 2003 5:00pm PST

The interactive poster category includes both traditional posters and demonstrations of interactive systems, either live on a laptop or through video. We encourage both submissions of original unpublished work and submissions showcasing systems of interest to the information visualization community that have been presented in other venues. Accepted posters will be included electronically on the IEEE Visualization 2003 Conference DVD, placed on the official web site, and also distributed in a hardcopy compendium to all symposium and conference attendees.

All authors of accepted interactive posters are required to bring an explanatory hardcopy poster for display during the scheduled evening poster session, and be available for discussion at that time. Accepted authors who wish to also show demos of their work are encouraged to also bring a laptop to the poster session. There will be a limited number of stations for showing videos during the main poster session. Authors who wish to show a live demo but cannot provide their own machine should contact the posters chairs in advance of the submission deadline to discuss the logistics. All authors who plan to show live demos or video should clearly indicate this fact in their submissions. Authors are also required to present a very brief summary (1-3 powerpoint slides) of their interactive poster at a short preview session earlier in the day.

Interactive poster authors must submit a 2 page summary, in two-column SIGGRAPH format as described for papers. Those who intend to show demos are highly encouraged to also submit an accompanying video. Clearly identify the type of your submission by including the prefix "Interactive Poster:" in the title of your summary.

Posters Review Process

Each poster will be read and evaluated by both of the Posters Chairs. Submissions will be evaluated based on whether the content is suitable for the venue and is not a repetition of the work of others. Authors of posters that are not accepted will receive summary reviews of their poster from the chairs explaining the decision and providing feedback.

See the InfoVis 03 Submissions page ( for details on format and electronic submission of posters and optional accompanying digital video.

due Fri 1 Aug 2003 5:00pm PST

Our goal in organizing this new participation category is to initiate the development of benchmarks for information visualization, establish a forum to promote evaluation methods, and create a new interesting event at the conference.

For Infovis 2003 we are inviting the submissions of case studies of the use of information visualization for pairwise comparison of trees. Several pairs of datasets will be provided February 1st, along with a description of the data and open-ended tasks. Contest entries will consist of a 2-page summary, a video and accompanying materials. First place entries will receive a prize and will have a speaking slot to present their work during the contest session at the conference. Second place entries will present a contest poster. (Note that duplicate submissions should *not* be made to both the poster and contest categories.) All accepted entry materials will be made available online after the conference.

For more information:

Presenter Requirements

Submission of a paper, poster, or contest entry is considered a commitment for at least one author to register and attend the conference as a presenter if the work is accepted. In the case that extraordinary circumstances arise that prevent an author from personally presenting the work, it is the author's responsibility to arrange in advance for an alternate presenter.

We are unable to subsidize registration or travel costs for presenters. InfoVis is a nonprofit symposium run by volunteers, and could not survive without the financial support of authors and organizers alike.


General Symposium Chair
Daniel Keim, University of Konstanz, Germany,

Program Chairs
Tamara Munzner, University of British Columbia, Canada,
Stephen North, AT&T Research,

Interactive Posters Chairs
Alan Keahey, Visintuit,
Matt Ward, Worcester Polytechnic Institute,

Contest Chairs
Jean-Daniel Fekete, INRIA, France,
Catherine Plaisant, University of Maryland,

Publications Chair
Sheelagh Carpendale, University of Calgary, Canada,

Publicity Chair
John Stasko, Georgia Tech,

Carson Bloomberg, Air Force Research Lab,

Steering Committee

Stuart Card, Xerox PARC,
John Dill, Simon Fraser University, Canada,
Steve Eick, Visintuit,
Steve Feiner, Columbia University,
Nahum Gershon, MITRE Corp.,
Daniel Keim, University of Konstanz, Germany,
George Robertson, Microsoft Research,
Steve Roth, MAYA Viz,

Important Dates
Sat 1 Feb Contest datasets released
Mon 31 Mar Papers due
Mon 9 June Paper acceptances announced
Mon 14 Jul Paper camera-ready due
Fri 1 Aug Poster and contest entries due
Fri 5 Sep Poster and contest acceptances announced
Fri 19 Sep Poster and contest camera-ready due
Sun 19 Oct InfoVis begins in Seattle