# Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2009 Edition
| Editors: LING LIU, M. TAMER ÖZSU

# Parallel Coordinates

• Alfred Inselberg
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_262

## Definition

In the plane with xy-Cartesian coordinates N copies of the real line labeled X̄ 1, X̄ 2,..., X̄ N are placed equidistant and perpendicular to the x-axis. They are the axes of the multidimensional system of Parallel Coordinates all having the same positive orientation as the y-axis. An N-tuple, N-dimensional point, C = ( c 1, c 2,..., c N) is represented by the polygonal line C̄ whose N vertices are at the c i values on each X̄ i-axis as shown in Fig. 1. In this way, a 1–1 correspondence between points in N-dimensional space and polygonal lines with vertices on the parallel axes is established. In principle, a large number of axes can be placed and be seen parallel to each other. The representation of points is deceptively simple and much development with additional ideas is needed to enable the visualization of multivariate relationsor equivalently...
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