[Infovis] IEEE VIS 2014 CFP: VAST Challenge

G.Elisabeta Marai marai at cs.pitt.edu
Fri Mar 28 00:04:20 CET 2014





This year's VAST Challenge presents three inter-related mini-challenges and
an overall Grand Challenge to test your skills. These challenges feature a
mix of data types, including text, transaction, network, and geospatial /
temporal. This year's challenge also features a first for the VAST
Challenge - a streaming text dataset for you to analyze.

These challenges are open to participation by individuals and teams in
industry, government, and academia. We encourage your submissions, and look
forward to seeing your innovative approaches to solving these challenges
using visual analytics.

 Background: The Kronos Incident
In the roughly twenty years that Tethys-based GAStech has been operating a
natural gas production site in the island country of Kronos, it has
produced remarkable profits and developed strong relationships with the
government of Kronos. However, GAStech has not been as successful in
demonstrating environmental stewardship.

In January, 2014, the leaders of GAStech are celebrating their new-found
fortune as a result of the initial public offering of their very successful
company. In the midst of this celebration, several employees of GAStech go
missing.  An organization known as the Protectors of Kronos (POK) is
suspected in the disappearance, but things may not be what they seem.

As an expert in visual analytics, you are called in to help law enforcement
from Kronos and Tethys assess the situation and figure out where the
missing employees are and how to get them home again.  Time is of the

 The Challenges *Data Available Now! **Mini-Challenge 1*
on the disappearance itself. As an analyst, you have a set of current and
historical news reports at your disposal, as well as resumes of numerous
GAStech employees and email headers from two weeks of internal GAStech
company email. You are being counted on to bring law enforcement up to date
on the current organization of the POK and how that organization has
changed over time, as well as to characterize the events surrounding the

*Description Available! **Mini-Challenge 2*
you to analyze movement and tracking data. GAStech provides many of their
employees with company cars for their personal and professional use, but
unbeknownst to the employees, the cars are equipped with GPS tracking
devices. You are given tracking data for the two weeks leading up to the
disappearance, as well as credit card transaction and loyalty card usage
data. From this data, can you identify suspicious behaviors? Can you
identify people and locations that law enforcement should investigate? Data
for this mini-challenge will be made available in April.

*Description Available! **Mini-Challenge 3*
<http://www.vacommunity.org/VAST+Challenge+2014%3A+Mini-Challenge+3>poses a
streaming analysis challenge. You will have access to real-time feeds of
microblogs and emergency calls. Can you monitor this stream to identify
where the missing GAStech employees are, where they may located in the near
future, and what steps are needed to bring them home? Data for this
mini-challenge will be made available in April.

*Available Now! *In the *Grand
you are asked to put all the pieces together. Who disappeared? Who was
responsible for the disappearance? And what were the underlying motivations
for the disappearance?

For Further Information

For more information, please see http://vacommunity.org/VASTchallenge2014
or contact vast_challenge at ieeevis.org.

The submission deadline is July 8, 2014.

We look forward to seeing your creative solutions!

Kris Cook, Georges Grinstein, and Mark Whiting

VAST Challenge Committee co-chairs

The VIS 2014 Publicity Chairs, including
-- Liz
G. Elisabeta Marai
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science
University of Pittsburgh

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