Author Guide



See also InfoVis 04 Submissions page for details on format and electronic submission of papers and optional accompanying digital video:

Paper Categories

Infovis papers typically fall into five categories: technique, system, design study, evaluation, and model. We discuss these categories below as a guide to authors. However, papers can include elements of more than one of these categories, and are not required to fit within these five.


Technique papers introduce novel techniques or algorithms that have not previously appeared in the literature, or that significantly extend known techniques or algorithms, 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 examples include: 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 exhaustive, 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 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 described system 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.

Past work examples include design lessons learned in, novel applications for, and new encodings for bioinformatics, data mining and databases, finance and commerce, telecommunications and networking, information retrieval from large text corpora, and computer-supported cooperative work.


Evaluation papers present 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. 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.

Past work examples include new taxonomies, extensions to Bertin's theories of visual encoding, analysis of metaphors, perception, cognitive models, visual comparisons and indications of causality.

Paper Length

Papers can be up to a maximum of eight (8) pages in length, including full-color figures. The length of the paper should be commensurate with its contributions: 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. Authors may be asked to decrease a paper's length as a condition of acceptance.

Papers Review Process

Papers are peer-reviewed. The program committee will consist of senior reviewers on the program committee who will recruit additional external reviewers. Each paper will be read by two senior reviewers on the program committee and two additional external reviewers.

All papers submitted to InfoVis04 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 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 may be resubmitted provided it has substantial additional new material.

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 (10 October 2004), and should cite no publications that are proprietary or confidential at the time of publication.


See also InfoVis 04 Submissions page for details on format and electronic submission of posters and optional accompanying digital video:

Poster Session

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 one-minute summary of their interactive poster at a short preview session earlier in the day.

Interactive poster authors must submit a 2 page summary in the same two-column format as is required 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 Posters Chairs. Submissions will be evaluated based on whether the content is suitable for the venue and 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.


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, it is the author's responsibility to arrange 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.