VisAct: a visualization design system based on semantic actions

  • Hongjin Wu
  • Danqing Shi
  • Nan Chen
  • Yang ShiEmail author
  • Zhuochen Jin
  • Nan Cao
Regular Paper


Current visualization design toolkits help users to explore data and create visualizations. However, most of these systems do not record the executed actions during the visualization construction process with semantic context. In this paper, we present VisAct, a visualization design system based on semantic actions, that helps average users to construct visualizations step by step. Our system contributes a set of action-based visualization components and a high-level grammar for semantic actions. VisAct also guides the visualization construction process and provides an action tracker for history management and data collection. We demonstrate the usability of VisAct by visualizations and a plugin application. Finally, we conduct a user study to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of our system.

Graphic abstract


Visualization Semantic actions History 



Yang Shi is the corresponding author. This research was sponsored in part by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities in China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 61802283, 61602306.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (mp4 44384 KB)


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Copyright information

© The Visualization Society of Japan 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intelligent Bigdata Visualization LabTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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