A Novel Visualization Environment to Support Modelers in Analyzing Data Generated by Cellular Automata

  • Philippe J. GiabbanelliEmail author
  • Guru Jagadeesh Babu
  • Magda Baniukiewicz
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9745)


In the ‘big data’ era the attention is often on deriving models from vast amounts of routinely collected data, for example to lear about human behaviors. However, models themselves can produce a large amount of data which has to be analyzed. In this paper, we focus on visually exploring data produced by a type of discrete simulation models known as ‘cellular automaton’ (CA). In particular, we visualize two-dimensional CA with square cells, which can intuitively be thought of as a grid of colored cells. This type of CA is usually visualized using a slider to display the whole grid at each time of the simulation, but this can make it challenging to see patterns over the whole simulations because of change blindness. Consequently, our new visualization framework uses a temporal clock glyph to show the successive states of each cell on the same display. This approach is illustrated for three classical models using CA: an epidemic (a human health model), sandpiles (a self-organized dynamical system), and fire spread (a geographical model). Several improvements to the framework are discussed, in part based on feedback collected from trained modelers.


Cellular Automaton Aggregation Method Fire Spread Cellular Automaton Model Change Blindness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe J. Giabbanelli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Guru Jagadeesh Babu
    • 1
  • Magda Baniukiewicz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceNorthern Illinois UniversityDekalbUSA

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